When Netflix released its API, I said the coolest thing was that it gave developers access to a database of movies and actors. It also uses OAuth to let third parties create applications that build off of a user’s account.
Plaxo has done just that, by adding ratings integration into its Pulse social network. When you add it to your Pulse account, you are taken to Netflix to login, so Plaxo doesn’t get your login details. Then you choose which of your Pulse contact groups you want to give access. You can just make the ratings public, but then we’ll know your affinity for Harold and Maude (and I totally get it).
The Plaxo team got this Netflix integration done fast, which Plaxo credits to the way Netflix created the API:
“Netflix chose to build it with existing, open standards. Specifically, they’re using OAuth to let users grant Plaxo access to their non-public data, and they’re using protected ATOM feeds for the ratings (along with RESTful APIs for getting additional data). Since Plaxo already knows how to crawl ATOM feeds, and we already know how to take users through the OAuth flow, it was trivial for us for hook this all up.”
This is good stuff from Plaxo, too, which has a bit of a reputation to get over. Now attempting to be known for openness, to many Plaxo is still seen as a spammer due to emails that made us update our friends’ address books.
There are probably many who wouldn’t join Plaxo, let alone give it access to their Netflix queue, but for those willing to give them a shot, it looks like the sort of place where you’ll see fun new features sooner than later.