Some Facts About the Yahoo! Shopping API Shutdown Announcement

Yes, it's true. The Yahoo! Shopping API is shutting down on March 11, as part of our strategic partnership with PriceGrabber to power the backend product listings functionality on Yahoo! Shopping. I've read the commentary here on the blog and out in the blogosphere. I've also read some of the speculation about what this means -- and it's dead wrong. Yahoo!'s commitment to developers and to open platforms is not going away. Not at all.

That doesn't mean time stands still and everything stays the same. As Yahoo! continues to refocus and rewire, businesses change and priorities shift. Strong leaders make tough decisions all the time. The Open Web is not a rose garden. You know that.

I know we need to do a better job of sharing information whenever possible. Providing roadmaps, getting your feedback, offering viable alternatives when a service like the Shopping API is affected by changes in our business. We’re on it.

In 2010, you'll hear more from me and the rest of the YOS team about the Yahoo! Open Strategy (YOS) and what's ahead. I'll tackle a variety of topics, like:

  • How we are determining which APIs we support on the Yahoo! Developer Network.
  • Our progress on YQL (Yahoo! Query Language), YAP (Yahoo! Application Platform), and the Social APIs.
  • Our longer-range plan for Open Social support:
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    -Currently, the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP v 1.9) enables developers to leverage the Open Social APIs though the JS and REST interfaces (0.8 Open Social spec).
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    -We’re actively working to support the full 0.9 Open Social spec (from the gadget app definition to osml) in our Summer 2010 release.
  • How our recent Facebook agreement – along with other sources – supports our open strategy, and what that does and doesn't mean about our social strategy.

One thing to note today: Yahoo!'s commitment to openness is reflected in the design of recent platform releases. That's right. The truth is in the architecture. Our Open platforms (YAP, YQL, YUI, etc.) will stay and will stay open. While the closure of the Shopping API is a disappointment to some, it is an isolated consequence of a strategic partnership that will improve the Yahoo! shopping experience for consumers. On balance, this was a good tradeoff.

YQL, which now powers both the data and functionality of many of our own products, was built to embrace Web scale, serve our ginormous audience, and enable access to the galaxies of data available on the Internet. Developers who use YQL have a powerful alternative if any web service provider (whether it's us or anyone else) shuts down an API.

YQL technology offers all developers an open, scalable, plug-and-play platform with the same flexibility and security we require for our own production deployment. You have the ability to wire up alternative APIs using YQL's Open Tables.

Now that's a commitment.

Neal Sample
VP, Yahoo! Open Strategy