In another part of its bold “Open Strategy”, Yahoo today announced public availability of its Address Book API. Plaxo, always first to embrace a new open technology, is already live with support, along with another major contact-aware service provider, LinkedIn.
This is an important step in the opening up of the Social Web. A few months ago, the only way to help a user import their contacts into a social web app was to ask them for their webmail username and password. Clearly, that’s a bad idea, but in the absence of address book APIs, it at least worked. Now, the Big Three all have contacts APIs: Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! each have come out with APIs that give users secure access to their address books.
I sat down with Joseph Smarr of Plaxo to get the inside scoop. My interview is here:
[Disclaimer/reminder: I work for Plaxo, a company covered in this post.]