Ecosystem: more participants - more profit! Why does Skyeng open an API
In our texts we periodically mention a certain “Skyeng ecosystem”. It's time to figure out what we mean by this term. In this article we will tell you what an ecosystem is and why its creators are interested in making as many third-party developers as possible. And, of course, we’ll show you where to find open methods of our API so that you can now start fastening our dictionary to your application. And there will be a contest!
What do we mean by ecosystem?
An ecosystem is a system of relationships between individual products and services that adds value to them. The more products - the greater the added value; at a certain moment, communications begin to bring more benefits than all the participants in the ecosystem in total.
Take, for example, a car and a smartphone. Each of them is a good product of its class, giving the user a specific list of opportunities (use cases). If the value of each item is estimated as a “unit of happiness”, then in total the total value of the car and phone for their owner will be equal to two such units.
Now imagine that between the phone and the car there is some kind of additional connection (synergy). Those. some new use cases appear that did not exist before and impossible without this synergy. For example, we can find a car in the parking lot, start it in advance from the application in the winter, check the gas level, the phone will remind us of the upcoming maintenance before the scary check engine light comes on, etc. These additional features increase the sum of the value of the car and phone from the base two to two and a half “units of happiness”. It is not surprising that automobile concerns quite actively cooperate with Google and Apple.
Speaking about the ecosystem, it is important not to go from the whole to the details - to the specific products and services offered, otherwise you can’t see the forests behind the trees. Let's talk not about specific services, but about some "spherical products in a vacuum."
Imagine that we have ten of some conditional separate (standalone) products. Suppose that they all have the same value, which we take for 1. Thus, the total value of our product package is 10. If tomorrow we release another product with the same value, then the total value for the client will be 11.
Now imagine that we have found a way to connect these products - similar to the car and telephone example. Let their combination give a new value (new functionality, impossible in standalone mode) of 0.5 points. Assume that all ten products can be linked to each other, getting 45 bundles. Thus, having organized the connections (ecosystem), we more than tripled the value of our offer (32.5 instead of 10), although the value of the products themselves, if we take them separately, remained the same.
Now, adding the 11th product, which also has links with the entire existing ecosystem, we increase its value not by 1, but immediately by 6 (product + 10 bundles).
At this stage, the value of relationships becomes more important to us than the value of the product itself. Strictly speaking, the 11th product may not have any value at all, but have connections. It will still bring 5 ecosystem value points. Not only that, this new product may even have a negative value (glitches, alpha version, something else), but if there are valuable connections, its release will not only be justified, but necessary.
For example, in the presented situation, we may be faced with a choice: to release the 11th curve, a buggy and crazy product with a negative value (-1), but a full set of connections, or a beautiful, magical, unique product with double value (2), but does not fit into the ecosystem. In the first case, we get the value twice as much (4) than in the second.
Of course, negative-value examples are extreme; we ourselves would not dare to conduct such an experiment in life. But normal products, “middle peasants”, which have analogues in the market and risk being unnoticed in standalone mode, begin to play with new colors in the ecosystem.
We have a browser extension for translating texts . In itself, it is far from the only one in the world, and probably not even the best. But he has a unique advantage - it is tied to our dictionary, where there is a detailed card for each word, and the word itself can be added to your list for memorization in a mobile application. So the educational value of expansion is growing markedly. Vimbox Subtitles- A service that allows you to watch movies and TV shows with the English track and English subtitles; when you hover over a word, its translation appears. To enjoy viewing, this is not an ideal solution: we could greatly increase its value by simply pumping out full-fledged Russian subtitles, and translating not words, but immediately phrases. We sacrifice this value to enable the student to close their vocabulary gaps with our other products.
Now our ecosystem includes:
- The Vimbox platform containing the elements:
· a virtual classroom where classes are held with a teacher;
· Homework service, which is a separate platform application;
· Tool "Essay" ;
· test papers;
· Speech recording for pronunciation training;
- Mobile applications, in particular:
· Words, a tool for memorizing English words;
Listening, an application for listening;
· Aword - an analogue of Words for external users;
- Browser extensions mentioned above:
· Vimbox Translator ;
· Vimbox Subtitles.
More products, good and different
The more participants in the ecosystem, the higher its value. We ourselves can not only realize all our ideas, we could hardly even come up with everything that can be fastened to our ecosystem.
Therefore, we decided to give third-party developers, that is, you, access to our API so that you can create your products and services and integrate them into our ecosystem.
Now we open for you access to our pride - Skyeng-developed English phrasebook. Currently, it contains 230 thousand word meanings with transcription, translation, voice acting and definition in English, a picture, examples of use and a bunch of additional information, up to their identifiers in our database.
In addition to the dictionary, we also provide access to lists of words that our students have studied so that they can learn these words not only in our Words application, but also in your products and services.
Skyeng gives away all these accesses absolutely free of charge without any restrictions. You can use the Skyeng API in your websites, mobile applications, chat bots, games and any other services for learning English, including paid ones.
What can be done on our API? Here are examples of what occurred to us and has not yet been implemented by anyone:
· an application that generates crosswords with the words that are taken for study;
· A game in which you need to translate the words given by the opponent;
· A site on which reading texts are selected in which there are learned words.
And you can tie the dictionary to a game that does not have a budget for a full translation. Or an e-book reader. You probably have a bunch of ideas for a new startup, please share them in the comments! And those who are ready to engage in implementation - do not put off and get down to business.
Technical documentation for the Skyeng API is available at the following links:
- dictionary.skyeng.ru/doc/api/external - methods of our dictionary,
- words.skyeng.ru/api/doc/external - methods of our Words application.
So far, we have opened
- dictionary.skyeng.ru/api/public/v1/words/search?search=mother - on an arbitrary request, optionally from one word, produces relevant words and phrases, and for each word - its meanings, sorted by their popularity, with translations and pictures.
- dictionary.skyeng.ru/api/public/v1/meanings?ids=192984 - by id gives the meaning of the word with examples of use, pictures, translation, voice acting, transcription, a list of meanings of other words that are translated similarly.
- words.skyeng.ru/api/public/v1/users/token - sends a token to the user's email to gain access to the meaning of words.
- words.skyeng.ru/api/public/v1/users/meanings -
by emailfor a user logged in to Skyeng by cookie (or by the token received by the user on his email) gives a list of id values of words that were taken by a student of Skyeng school, and their degree of knowledge.
- words.skyeng.ru/api/public/v1/words - accepts a list of id of new meanings of words taken for study.
All methods are available without complicated authorization mechanisms and you can start using them right now.
We are ready to help you in every way possible - talk about the API and advise on training methods and product issues. We will advise all your best developments to our students and put them on the application window in Vimbox along with our own. In fact, Skyeng provides you with a place in your ecosystem and a platform for growth.
According to the data for May 2017, the users of the Words application added 186 thousand words a day to the study and completed 21 thousand training sessions, and the proportion of active users of the application among 10.3 thousand active students of the Skyeng school was 33%. The number of school students is growing 3 times every year. Therefore, you will immediately have a targeted paying audience out of the box and absolutely free - tens of thousands of Skyeng customers studying English, mainly top managers from major cities of Russia and the CIS.
Thus, we want you to not only release prototypes of products and services, but to make money on them and develop them further.
And finally, the promised contest. We plan to award the authors of the best developments with valuable prizes! The prize fund will amount to 200 thousand rubles, we will determine the winners ourselves, focusing on the usefulness of the solution for school students and on integration into our ecosystem. In addition, we will write about interesting applications on Habré. To take part in the development competition and get a consultation you need to fill out an application .
Upd .: The terms of the contest are published .
Upd. 2: In separate articles you can read about the first participants of the competition and about the results of the competition .