Images APIs

I find the images API space a fascinating area to research when it comes to APIs. If you think about it, images APIs are kind of ironic, because images is based upon some pretty solid standards like SMTP, POP, and IMAP, where APIs are nothing more than just a philosophy, and a kind of wild west when it comes to standardization. Yet you see some pretty interesting approaches to providing images infrastructure which employs, and often resemble the images standards, but put web APIs to work to actually do the heavy lifting.

Images is most definitely one of the most important building blocks of the most important platform out there, the Internet. I think it is only fitting that this important resources is available as an essential API resource, translating images into the next generation of not just the web, but the programmable web. Right alongside SMS, images is a cornerstone of messaging on the Internet, and the mobile Internet.

As with other areas of the my messaging research, I looked at a lot of APIs, and many of them just didn’t meet the basic requirements of an API I'd showcase. The seven I have showcased represent the best of what I've found, worthy of showcasing, and contributing to an overall blueprint of how to do images APIs. I think that these providers offer patterns that don't just represent how to do images APIs, but evolve standards, or maybe augment them with a web API to extend and move forward some common resources we depend on every day.

Let’s walk through the seven companies here, and take a look at the API resources they make available, and their approaches to the technology, business, and monetization of their APIs, then I can provide a little more summary on their approach, and potentially how this blueprint can be applied for other images providers, and potentially wider API providers in considering their own approach.