Remember how over a year ago, everyone was all excited about the forthcoming Pinterest API? CEO Ben Silbermann even teased its release in a March 2012 email to Pinterest users detailing a Terms of Service change. And API documentation even once popped up on the site, only later to lead to a 404? Well, don’t get all excited again, but the API documentation has returned…um, sorta.*
This week, when Pinterest announced support for more pin types (product, recipe, and movie pins) as well as a new Pin It button that works in mobile apps, it also launched a developer site at developers.pinterest.com. The company says the site will be the home to some of the existing documentation and resources that had previously lived on the Pinterest Business site, as well as the new information on the pins and the mobile Pin It button.
“Over time, as more tools become available to third parties, we will continue to post resources on this site,” a Pinterest spokesperson says.
New tools like that long-awaited API, perhaps?
Though not directly linked on the site itself, an easy guess at the URL structure led to this – http://developers.pinterest.com/api/ – a section which contains some half-written (if that) documentation about the Pinterest API. Details are limited, but the site speaks of a restful, JSON API and offers a couple of sections with very little additional info. (See screenshot below).
Previously, the company had been asking developers interested in an API to fill out the form here to “be one of the first to know when it’s ready.” However, several very interested developers tell us that they have yet to hear from Pinterest about the API or even the new Developer site itself, in fact.
* Of course, after asking Pinterest about this page, it disappeared. (The API page now redirects to the main Developers site). Sorry you can’t see it for yourself.
“We are still working on finishing up this page. It is currently not linked to from anywhere else on the site,” the spokesperson says. “We’re still working on some kinks and want to make all of the content and what’s available is great before releasing.”
This isn’t the first time API docs appeared on Pinterest’s homepage before disappearing, so this appearance alone doesn’t guarantee a timeframe for its arrival. But it’s promising.
Plus, Pinterest’s recent launch of richer pins and mobile buttons shows that the company is now moving forward with its plans to turn Pinterest into a platform. And an API is a necessary part of that longer-term goal, in order to enable developers to build rich, third-party apps on top of Pinterest’s service.