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FAQ: API Overview

What is the API?

Who should use the API?

What other options do I have?

Is the API free to use?

How do I use the API?

How do I know if I need a commercial key?

What kind of support does Photobucket provide for the API?

How often is the API updated, and how do I know there are updates?

Do I have to submit my application to Photobucket before I use it?

Can I use the API as a white-box media host, without referencing or linking back to Photobucket

How do I request API functionality?

What is the API?

The Photobucket API is an application programming interface that enables software developers to give Photobucket users access to their online images and videos from environments outside of Photobucket, including other Web sites, Web applications, desktop applications, browser plug-ins, and devices that go beyond the desktop, such as mobile phones, home-entertainment systems, digital photo frames, and digital cameras.

The API allows you to programmatically access much of the functionality of the Photobucket site. This includes Search, Uploading, User Albums, and Media Tagging and Titling. See Methods in the API Documentation.

Who should use the API?

You should consider using the API for your application if:

What other options do I have?

In addition to the API, Photobucket provides two additional options:

Is the API free to use? 

The API is free to use with a non-commercial key. If you expect to exceed the Method Throttle Limits, expect your application to generate more than $5000 USD/month, or you are writing a mobile or consumer electronic application, you may require a commercial key.

How do I use the API?

Before you can use the API, you must:

  1. Sign up for a Photobucket User account (if you do not already have one).
  2. Go to the Photobucket developer web site at developer.photobucket.com, agree to the terms of service, and sign up as a Developer. A non-commercial API key will be emailed to you.
  3. Understand the code sample conventions and REST request and response formats.
  4. Implement OAuth request signing for your application.
  5. Determine which requests you want to send. Occasionally, a request requires data from a previous response.
  6. Understand the error codes that may be sent in a response.
  7. Review the throttle limits and if necessary, request a commercial key.

Information about the requirements listed in steps 3 to 7 is provided in the API Documentation.

The API is accessed via HTTP commands to the API, as outlined in the documentation, and produces responses in your specified format (e.g., XML or JSON). Access is controlled via OAuth authentication.

How do I know if I need a commercial key?

You need a commercial key if you:

What kind of support does Photobucket provide for the API?

When you sign up as a Developer to use the API, you can access the Developer forum where many common questions are answered. Additionally, Photobucket provides client libraries and help documentation. Although Photobucket makes the best effort to help whenever possible, our resources are limited. As much as Photobucket would like to write more code samples and correct code that you write, support at that level is not guaranteed.

How often is API updated, and how do I know there are updates?

The API is updated as needed to support new functionality or fix defects. When the API and the API documentation are updated, an entry is published on the Developer Blog on the Developer forum. Subscribe to the RSS feed for the Developer Blog to receive prompt notification of new entries.

Do I have to submit my application to Photobucket before I use it?

You do not have to submit your application to Photobucket unless you want it considered for inclusion in the Application Gallery.

Can I use the API as a white-box media host, without referencing or linking back to Photobucket?

No. The API is meant to augment the features on the Photobucket service, not replace the site.

How do I request API functionality?  

If there is functionality you want to see in the API, post your request on the Photobucket API Support forum. If another developer has already requested the functionality, add your request for functionality to the existing thread.

 

Published 25-June-10. See developer.photobucket.com for additional resources.