YouTube today announced a significant increase to courtesy Data API limits, which regulate how many videos app developers can upload and how many read and write operations their apps can perform. YouTube’s quota system previously gave developers access to 5 million units per day, but now they will have 50 million units to play with. In addition, YouTube is reducing the cost of uploading a video from 16,000 units to just 1,600 units, so a developer could theoretically now upload almost 100 times more videos than before (for a total of close to 30,000 per day).
The Data API – now in its third version – basically gives developers full access to virtually all of the features YouTube offers on its own site. Developers can use it to fetch search YouTube results and “to retrieve, insert, update, and delete resources like videos or playlists.” Together with the Player API and Analytics API, Google says, the Data API “lets your application provide a full-fledged YouTube experience that includes search and discovery, content creation, video playback, account management, and viewer statistics.”
As a Google spokesperson told me, when YouTube first launched the API, it decided on a moderate limit to ensure that everything worked properly. Now that it has been tested more broadly, the company decided it was time to expand the limits to ensure that developers “have what they need with our APIs.”
YouTube’s somewhat unusual quota system has long been a source of some confusion among developers. A read operation that just retrieves the ID of a resource costs one unit, for example. A write operation is a bit more costly at 50 units. Developers who hit their quota limits can always petition Google to increase them, but Google can always deny these requests, so today’s update should give many developers the reassurance that they can scale their apps without hitting YouTube’s limits anytime soon.