API Branding Embeddables That Can Boost My API Rate Limits

I'm expanding on my API branding research, putting some thought into how we might be able to include branding and attribution in API responses. Next, I'd like to brainstorm ways to incentivize both API providers, as well as API consumers to employ sensible branding practices. You'd think API providers would be all over this stuff, but for some reason, they seem to need as much encouragement, and structure as API consumers do--this is why I'm wanting to explore how I can drive both sides.

First, why do I care about branding when it comes to APIs? Well, the more successful companies are with their APIs, the more their companies brand can be not just protected, but enhanced--the more APIs are seen in a positive light, rather than the threat to brand control that is often cast on them. And, the more APIs we have, the more access to valuable data and content for use in web, and mobile applications.

While there are many nuances to API branding, it often centers around making text, link, and image assets available for developers to use wherever they put API driven data, content, and algorithms to use. APIs have many different approaches to branding requirements and enforcement, but few actually provide rich assets and tooling to support a coherent branding strategy. All it takes is a handful of logos, some JavaScript APIs, and guidance for developers, and branding can significantly extend the reach of any brand--not hurt it as many perceive an API will do.

The benefits of branding to API provider are clear for me, but I'd like to explore what we can do to incentivize API consumers. What if, with all the tracking of where branding and attribution are deployed (aka API brand reach), we tracked each domain or subdomain, as well as each impression of text, logos, and other assets?  What if network reach and brand exposure could buy me API credits, and raise my API rate limits as a consumer? I mean, as a developer I'm potentially extending the reach of your brand, providing you with valuable exposure, and potentially inbound links and traffic--if I am rewarded for doing this, the chances I execute healthy API branding practices will ony increase.

Just some thoughts on incentivizing both the API provider and consumer sides of the coin when it comes to API branding. I am going to play around with a design for a simple set of logos and JavaScript APIs for supporting API branding assets. I'm going to also play around with baking in links to these resources within API responses either as JSON collections or present in headers. Once in place, I'll have a better idea of the type of data I can collect, and how it can possibly be measured, and applied to increasing API rate limits or possible equal credits for API access--all things I know developers will want.

Stay tuned for more on API branding in coming weeks...