Craigslist Unclogs Yahoo Pipes

Two weeks ago we wrote about the story of developer Romy Maxwell, who had built a Craigslist mashup using Yahoo Pipes. A few weeks after sending his app to Craigslist founder Craig Newmark (who forwarded it to other members of the Craigslist team), the world’s largest classifieds site blocked Maxwell’s app. And then it blocked every other application built on Yahoo, much to the chagrin of many developers. Tonight, Craigslist has ended its ban of Yahoo Pipes, according to a tweet from Craigslist (and former Yahoo) employee Jeremy Zawodny.

While Craigslist was initially quiet about the ban (it didn’t warn developers at all), CEO Jim Buckmaster did write a blog post the next day explaining the site’s rationale:

Yesterday afternoon craigslist engineering noticed a disproportionate amount of server/bandwidth resources being consumed by requests referred via Yahoo Pipes, with the lion’s share of that activity appearing also to be in violation of CL terms of use. Pipes access has been suspended pending further review.

We’ve reached out to Maxwell to see if his app, Flippity, has been restored as well, or if it is considered to be in violation of Craigslist’s terms.

Update: Maxwell says that his team decided to drop ties with Craigslist ever since the incident. He notes that while they could have continued using Craigslist data using something other than Yahoo Pipes, they have instead chosen to rewrite the site to use eBay’s API, which has been a positive experience thus far. Flippity is still a work in progress.

Image by foxrosser