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Back in May Googledeprecatedthe free version of the Google Translate API, and pissed off a lot of people along the way. I talked about building your business around Google or any other APIs, and even suggested that Google offer a paid version of the API instead of just shutting down.

Today Google introduced a paid version of the Google Translate API that provides a programmatic interface to access Google's machine translation technology, supporting translations in over 50 languages.

The paid version of Google Translate API costs $20 per million (M) characters of text translated (or approximately $0.05/page, assuming 500 words/page), and allows up to 50 M chars/month.

Google has give a limit of 100K chars / day until 12/1/2011 for developers who had already created projects in the API console that used the Translate API version 2 prior to today.

It sounds like Google has decided on a solid business model that will keep the translation API alive, and allow developers to commercially integrate the service into their applications. Google Tranlsate API is now integrated into the Google API Console, and is now one of four Google APIs that have pricing / billing frameworks to support them.

Google could have done a better PR job by deprecating the free version of the API at the same time as offering a paid version, but I think Google is trying to figure out how to manage and monetize their APIs just like the rest of us.



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