After Thursday's euphoria over the facebook launch, we were all wondering how quickly developers would seize this opportunity, and in turn how quickly facebook users to start using this application.
It took about a day, if that.
As Om reports this morning, many of the 65 companies who participated in Facebooks launch have seen record days for usage of their Facebook-facing APIs, and have signed up record numbers of users.
As often happens in this case, record usage exposes whatever weak links there are in the providers' infrastrucure. Some have withstood the load well, some have had to scramble for more infrastructure, and of course some have had outages.
Part of the reason for this pattern is that people don't know what to expect when an API is open. Rather than treating it from day one as a new distribution channel to exploit, it is often something to "try and see" if people will use it "and if it takes off" they'll devote infrastructure to it.
Of course, that's the Catch-22. Companies open an API hoping that lots of people use it, but are often unprepared for what happens when people do...in effect, setting themselves up for a low turnout and, once it goes down, ensuring that a low turnout is what they get. We at Mashery, of course, think that an ounce of prevention is worth an awful lot of cure.
Launching your API on day one with Mashery's access control, throttling, usage limits and detailed reporting ensures that you can recognize and control sudden increases in usage; our caching services allow your infrastructure to accommodate more usage than it could handle on its own. And when developers and users come, you'll be ready for them.