Blippy now sharing users' purchases … on purpose

Philip Kaplan, cofounder of Twitter-for-credit-cards startup Blippy, has been talking about giving outside developers access to the site’s data (through an application programming interface) for a while now. Today, he’s officially launching the API on-stage at the Finovate conference in San Francisco.

The idea is to build web apps with an unprecedented level of personalization by using Blippy’s data about where users are shopping and what they own. This also opens up new revenue opportunities for Blippy and its partners. Here are some examples that Kaplan provided:

  • Example app #1 (recipes): Imagine an app that tells you every recipe you can make from the ingredients currently in your kitchen (uses our Safeway integration)
  • Example app #2 (customer loyalty): Imagine an app that knows it’s your 9th purchase from the local coffee shop, and lets you know that your 10th cup is free.
  • Example app #3 (movies) – Imagine an app that recommends movie rentals based on what your friends have rented & what they think
  • Example app #4 (personal finance) – Imagine an app that knows what you’re buying and gives tips on how to save money

Blippy users can adjust privacy settings so that developers will only get access to the data they want to share, Kaplan said. The API will use the standard authorization technology OAuth. Still, people who feel that broadcasting your credit card purchases is the very definition of “oversharing” (especially after the scary-if-apparently-isolated incident where a few users’ credit card numbers showed up on Google) will probably look at this as oversharing made even worse.

Kaplan also provided a few updates on the site. He said users are now sharing $1.5 million in purchases every week. Blippy recently added new privacy controls, including the ability to approve purchases and also whether to show the price paid (just-launched competitor Swipely uses the absence of any specific price information as a big selling point), and will also be adding integration with supermarkets like Safeway soon.

Developers can request an invitation to the API program here.

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