International Expansion via APIs
Here at Mashery, we clearly talk about APIs all the time. While US-based companies make notable moves in the API space, there is a whole world out there beyond our borders. All over the world, companies are opening up and exposing their data and services to spread their brand for an international audiences.
Over in the UK, The Guardian has been making its content available publicly through an API since May 2010. Its Open Platform gives developers access to over 1 million articles going back 10 years, as well as podcasts, picture galleries and videos. And this content is relevant internationally, since The Guardian reports on stories from all over the world.
Many other news sources are following suit. ESPN, although based in the US, provides data all over the world, on both US and international sporting events, as well as teams, schedules, scoring, headlines and athletes. Both ESPN and the Press Association (based in the UK), provided medal counts and headlines for the recent 2012 Olympics. Press Association also provides soccer (or should I say, football?) information through its API. An international scope for their APIs allows The Guardian, ESPN and the Press Association to expand outside their normal domestic reach into the international arena and gain new audiences all over the world.
Another example of this global API expansion outside the media industry is Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is the distributor of all Coca-Cola products in Western Europe. It is using APIs to make it easier for companies across Europe to do business with CCE. That way even small retail stores in smaller market countries can have the same access to CCE services as large wholesalers chains in the biggest markets.
And then there is the special case of Compassion International, which is using its API to spread its mission of getting more children out of poverty around the world to more countries and regions across the globe. With its APIs, it hopes to empower more agencies to raise money in parts of the world where Compassion is not as active itself.
This model of international expansion via APIs is one that can be used by many companies. APIs allow brands to seek a brand new audience in a new location without having to have an actual, physical presence in that location. This is a great advantage (not to mention cost save) to a company of any size, whether big or small. The logistics of spreading overseas is much simpler if you use APIs. So, what are you waiting for? Get your API out there and see where in the world it can take you.