Google has published the first API designed to give developers access to some functions of the Google+ social network.
The API was released on Thursday and for the time being, only deals with data that is publicly available on Google+.
"Google+ gives users full control over their information, supporting everything from intimate conversations with family to public showcases and debates," Chris Chabot, of Google+ developer relations, said in a blog post. "This initial API release is focused on public data only — it lets you read information that people have shared publicly on Google+."
This means that developers can access, people, posts, checkins and shared content.
The company said it was using open standards where possible, such as RESTful HTTP requests that return JSON responses, and payload formats that use standard syntaxes.
"In addition, since most of us no longer write raw HTTP requests these days, we provide libraries for your favourite language: Java, GWT, Python, Ruby, PHP, Objective-C, and .NET," Chabot added.
The company is expected to release less restrictive APIs in the future, in order to allow developers to access other functions of the Facebook rival.