Hot on the heels of a new logo and look for its website, Netflix making some big behind-the-scenes changes too. Today the company sent out notice to third-party developers who are still using its long-available public API, saying it was shutting the option down come November 14th — just five months from now.
Some services will live on
That letter, written by Netflix's VP of Edge engineering Daniel Jacobson and spotted by TechCrunch, says the decision was made to "better focus our efforts and to align them with the needs of our global member base." Jacobson added that any existing services that were still using the public API after access was shut down would get 404 errors.
The public API was originally developed to let third-party sites and services search Netflix's catalog of movies, TV shows, and vast trove of metadata. It could also pull up information from a subscriber queue (now called "my list") and let people make changes outside of Netflix's site, or from of its apps. Last year, Netflix began deeply limiting access to the the program, no longer allowing new public API developer keys, or API affiliates — effectively killing it off for anyone who wanted to make new Netflix apps or mine the entirety of its catalog.
Even with this latest change, it's not the end of third-party apps that tap into Netflix, Jacobson said in a post Netflix's API developer blog. "Through the process of ending the program, we will be partnering more directly with a small set of developers whose applications have proven to be the most valuable for many of our members," he said. That list includes Flixster, Instant Watcher, NextGuide, and FeedFliks.