Announcing the File API

The promise of “unbundling”

Imagine a world in which your social data (e.g. messages, photos, videos) was easier to work with. For instance, imagine you could try out a new photo sharing service without having to move all of your photos and social graph.

In this world, your photos are held in a data store controlled by you. If you want to try out a new service, you can seamlessly login and choose to give permission to that service, and the photos that you have granted access to would be immediately available.

This is one benefit of an “unbundled” social service. Unbundling gives the user power to pick the software that best suits their needs, rather than being forced to use the software made by the company that manages their data.

Bringing one step closer to that vision

To date, has been focused on messaging & communication applications, however, with the introduction of the File API we are expanding the scope of social applications. In other words, in addition to storing posts & private messages, an account can now store files.

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 9.48.47 AM “member” and “developer” tier accounts now have access to a 10GB bucket of file storage. This storage can be accessed by applications in order to read/write files.

What kinds of applications could be built with this API?


  • Photo sharing applications
  • “Glue” to tie together desktop/mobile/tablet photo applications (in a way that is not tied to a specific platform such as iOS or Android)
  • Collaboration tools. (When tied together with the Messaging API)

As part of this API release, we have added a photo uploader to the Alpha web interface, and basic file sharing support will be added to the Omega messaging interface shortly. We look forward to seeing what 3rd party developers are able to build with this new API!


The team