The business of API terms

How to prevent API partners from stealing your audience


If you haven’t been watching the arrows fly between sports tracking app Strava and GPS video app Relive, here are the basics. Relive built their audience on the Strava community, and then built features to usurp Strava’s community. Will the other apps who have “Partnered” with Relive face the same fate? How can they protect themselves?

The facts of the matter are both companies wanted to get something for free and both wanted to build and grow their business on top of that free relationship. Strava has clearly stated in their terms what they will consider acceptable use of their API. They feel that agreement was broken and were within their rights to revoke access to the API.

At Ayvri, we also have a relationship with Strava and you can create Ayvri 3D videos from the activities you upload to Strava. This makes it easier for Ayvri users to create scenes. Some ask why we waited so long to implement a Strava integration and the first reason is we needed to get Ayvri to a point where we could abide by Strava’s terms while maintaining a great experience in Ayvri. The second reason was that we needed to ensure we could build a viable business without relying on an external API partner.

We believe Ayvri’s interactive scenes provide the best experience for viewing any outdoor video. The other “competing” platforms don’t give the perspective that Ayvri does. Our patented technology means in Ayvri, a climb looks like a CLIMB!! The downhills look fast, you can feel what it was like to be there. We believe every app can provide this experience to their users. Which is why we aren’t trying to recreate the apps of our partners.

Ayvri counts many apps among its API customers, including the world’s largest hiking app ViewRanger. Ayvri’s Commercial API means that companies can provide their users with the best 3D video experience while keeping their users engaged on their platform. We don’t collect any information on the users of our commercial API partners, and have no details about those users. For hardware manufacturers which may not have a community or apps that want to make it easy for their users to upload tracks to Ayvri, and are willing to have those users go to Ayvri to be amazed by the result, we have our Connect API.

We can operate like this because Ayvri is not a sports tracking app. It’s why we have not created a mobile app for users to track their activities, and we never will. Ayvri’s 3D visualizations are used at UNICEF to understand the challenges in flying drones for vaccine delivery to remote regions. Ayvri’s interactive video is used by wildlife managers and researchers to better understand their subjects. Ayvri has supported transportation planning, Microsoft Research Frigatebird project, and of course, incredible athlete’s like the InternationElles who are pre-riding this year’s Tour de France to bring awareness to the lack of a showcase women’s major tour cycling event.

Apps need to understand the long-term goals of their partners. We appreciate it may not be obvious on the surface, which is why we want to be open about how our app is used and what we will and won’t be building. The writing was on the wall for a long-time with Relive and Strava as with each passing iteration Relive looked more and more like a sports tracking app.

Some trust must be given to the little guy who creates something unique and is just trying to prove their audience, but at some point the question must be asked, “what is the long-term goals”. Relive has shown it’s colors when it comes to data privacy, legal agreements, and cooperating with ‘partners’. Runtastic, UnderArmour, Endomondo, MapMyRide, MapMyRun, Runkeeper, will they do the same to you?