The Cheezburger Network, the internet’s birthplace of many a meme and silly cat video, has launched a new API to help web developers build a share-to-Cheezburger button for their apps.
Of course, on one level the new API is part of a plan to help extend the Cheezburger network and all the assorted Lolcats that come with it to more corners of the Internet. But it’s also a sign that Cheezburger may be losing some of the hype of its own online momentum to sites like Reddit or even BuzzFeed as meme generation becomes an increasingly corporate effort.
According to VentureBeat, some 20 million people visit some area of the Cheezburger network every day. The hope with the new API is that it can stimulate content creation to increase traffic figures even more.
“As Cheezburger continues to innovate as a social humor platform, we’ll be pushing that innovation out through these apps and serving our customers the best funny content, where ever they are,” Rick Simpkinson, a technical product manager at the Cheezburger network, told Venturebeat.
Cheezburger, Inc. is using the API management service Apigee to support its new feature. Simpkinson told VentureBeat that working with Apigee takes care of “all the overhead of managing an API” such as :managing quotas, throttling access, and managing access tokens,” thereby giving Cheezburger to focus on its core strength: viral humor.
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Apigee also allowed Cheezburger’s own developers to link their accounts with existing user accounts -- an improvement that allows developers to streamline their access to the site both in terms of web development and content creation.
This simplification reflects one of the key goals of the new API for Cheezburger -- to encourage a further proliferation of user-generated content by eliminating any barriers to entry for people to submit their work to the Cheezburger network. Citing the example of the popular mobile app Rage Comics, which allows users to create comics and upload them to the web, Simpkinson said that he wanted to offer users the ability to share their work beyond their immediate network.
“Before we made the API available, you can make a comic, but then could only share with your direct network,” Simpkinson said. “Now by working with us they can make Cheezeburger available as a publishing option.”
Cheezburger is also developing apps for a iOS, Android, and Windows 8 operating systems.
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