Factual Adds Monetization Capability With New API

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Factual has added engagement and monetization capabilities to its set of local data tools with the release of a new Monetize API. The API enables developers to snap deals and other engagement tools like restaurant reservations to any business in a developer’s local dataset, and share in the revenues generated from conversions.

The API is pretty bare bones to start – its currently ingesting offers from Living Social, Groupon, Yelp, as well as food ordering through GrubHub – but Tyler Bell, director of product for Factual, says the conservative launch is by design. “We’re looking to help developers increase engagement [as much as monetize] the apps they develop,” Bell told Street Fight. “And so we wanted to make sure we could provide that kind of service, without pushing folks onto something else.”

Offer APIs are nothing new, but the addition of an engagement layer on top of Factual’s existing local data products is good news for developers, and another step for the company towards creating a more dynamic value proposition for its data products.  The company began its push into more subjective information with the release of its GeoPulse API last month — a feed that returns contextual indicators like demographic and commercial profiles for a given location.

The big advantage of Factual data is its structure. The team has put a lot of emphasis on creating objective objects for places, meaning that each place — mostly businesses — has its own unique identity that can be easily adapted, say if it moves down the block, without sacrificing other descriptive information. This means that as the information, which is ascribed to businesses becomes more complex, and particularly more time-sensitive, Factual’s data can scale with accuracy and without time intensive cleanup.

Steven Jacobs is deputy editor at Street Fight.