Foursquare, Google wants you back.
Google is making some major price cuts to its maps application programming interface (API) in a bid to draw developers back to the service. Big users like Foursquare and StreetEasy abandoned Google Maps in the wake of Google’s price hikes. Now the company is backtracking on its pricing structure.
Google will only charge $0.50 for every 1000 maps loaded, as opposed to the previous rate of $4. Styled and unstyled maps will both be loaded at this price, where once they were billed at separate rates.
Google says that, based on current usage rates, the fees will only affect 0.35 percent of users, meaning that for most sites, usage of the API will remain free.
Google also reiterated that developers won’t be penalized for having one or a few particularly heavy traffic days. Instead, the charge will only affect those users who exceed 25,000 views for 90 days. Google will also continue to offer non-profit organizations free use of the service.
It’s no surprise that Google is trying to make its maps API more attractive to developers. With Apple releasing its own map software, Microsoft doubling down on Nokia Maps, and open-source efforts like OpenStreetMaps gaining steam, the map market has gotten a lot more intense as of late.