Customizable Terms of Service As Part Of Your API Plans
15 Dec 2015
I am spending a significant amount of time looking through the pricing pages for leading API providers, working to get a sense for some of the common approaches to API monetization in use across the space. Along the way I am also finding some simple and unique approaches from API providers that I wanted to share as bit-size API planning stories here on the blog.
As I was working to understand the coupling between the Box SaaS business model, and the one applied to their API, I noticed an interesting element, that was part of their enterprise API plan--custom terms of service. At first glance it doesn't seem like much, but making elements of your TOS dynamic, allowing them up to be used as a metric within your API plans, opens up a whole world of possibilities.
I have to note, this option is only available in the enterprise plan, which means only those with the most resources get this opportunity, but I still think its presence is meaningful. Right now, most terms of service and privacy policies are immovable shadows that guide how we do business and conduct our personal lives online, so the ability to think of them more dynamically, and one that could be tied to specific API access plans has huge potential. Unfortunately in the true Silicon Valley spirit, only some of this potential will be good, much of it will be in the name of exploitation, and the shifting of how power flows.
I have terms of service listed as a potential metric in my API plans research--we'll see where this goes, as my work evolves. I have a whole list of bit-size API monetization, pricing, and planning stories queued up. I will try to space them out, alongside other stories, but you will just have to suffer a little as I spend time expanding on my API monetization, and API plans research areas.