Increasingly, successful websites are not completely standalone. To engage existing users and find new users, integration with social networking is a must. To provide store locators or other location-aware services, using geolocation and mapping services is essential. It doesn’t stop there: more and more organizations are realizing that providing an API helps expand their service and makes it more useful.
In this chapter, we’ll be discussing the two most common integration needs: social media and geolocation.
Social media is a great way to promote your product or service: if that’s your goal, the ability for your users to easily share your content on social media sites is essential. As I write this, the dominant social networking services are Facebook and Twitter. Google+ may be struggling for a piece of the pie, but don’t count them out: they are, after all, backed by one of the largest, most savvy Internet companies in the world. Sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr have their place, but they are usually a little more audience specific (for example, if your website is about DIY crafting, you would absolutely want to support Pinterest). Laugh if you will, but I predict that MySpace will make a comeback. Their site redesign is inspired, and it’s worth noting that they built it on Node.