Tuesday, February 24, 2009

YouTube API Outgrows Shy Adolescence, Now Social

Posted by Stephanie Liu, YouTube APIs and Tools Team

YouTube has been getting more social lately, using activity feeds to make it easier to find cool videos and channels that your YouTube friends are favoriting, rating, subscribing to, etc. But what if all your friends aren't on YouTube, but rather on social network / site XYZ?

Well, my friends, the API has come out of its awkward teenage years, and now has more sophisticated social skills to help. Activities like favoriting, uploading, commenting, and more can now be integrated into the social context of your choice. Check out the docs for the new user activity feed and friend activity feed.

Before you ask, the user activity feed is fully customizable by the user, and the corresponding feed through the API respects all privacy settings. So users still have full control over what they make available in their recent activity feed.

We think some cool apps can be made with these feeds -- like the obvious social network / feed aggregator integrations, to notification apps, to novel data views. We can't wait to see what you guys make!

Get started by perusing the docs and playing with the sample. Besides the protocol guide, we've also updated the Java and PHP guides with helpful snippets. An activity viewer sample written in PHP and its source code is also available for you to play with.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or feedback in the forum.

PS. If you want to socialize with the team in person, come to Google I/O, where we'll be giving a session on "Going social with the YouTube APIs"!