Goodreads Developers discussion

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API Deprecation

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 2 comments There's now a top-level banner on API pages saying
"As of December 8th 2020, Goodreads is no longer issuing new developer keys for our public developer API and plans to retire these tools."
https://www.goodreads.com/api

I just got an email today saying that my developer API key has been deactivated due to 30 days of inactivity, along with the same line about the API tools being retired above. This is the first communication I've gotten about this deprecation - has anyone else heard anything about it?


message 2: by dgw (new)

dgw (hidgw) | 1 comments Nothing. I'm in the same boat as you. Actually, probably not quite the same boat, since I'm just a user of a chat plugin that shows info about Goodreads book links, not the developer of it.

Still, this is sudden. Not entirely surprising, given who owns Goodreads now and how "open" their world-famous retail site is when it comes to API access, but… sad. Another casualty of 2020.


message 3: by Kyle (new)

Kyle  K (strifey) | 1 comments I'm in the same boat. Recently started writing a Discord bot to share book recs, reading status, etc. via Goodreads and suddenly POOF it just stops working. Very disappointed in this news.


message 4: by Don (new)

Don | 1 comments Yep, same. But I had actually given up on getting decent data so I’m ok with it but for those of you who have been using it, it seems a rude and fast awakening.


message 5: by Aakash (new)

Aakash Bajaj (aakashbajaj) | 1 comments Even I was planning to make some trello integration for managing my books. But my API key got deactivated.
Are there any plans for some new endpoints or its straight up retiring?


Udayaditya Barua | 2 comments This is not a 2020 casualty... This is an amazon casualty.. Why do you think they acquired goodreads? To keep it open? I don't think so.. Next thing you know, they'll come out with their own app..


message 7: by Roseanne (new)

Roseanne | 1 comments Yeah, I got no warning either. Really disappointed since I put in a lot of effort to set up OAuth and use the API to create a private note taking web app, and now the whole project is unusable since my dev key was deactivated too.


message 8: by Louis (new)

Louis | 1 comments Does anybody know of a lasting alternative to the goodreads api?


message 9: by Wojtek (new)

Wojtek (sixbytesunder) | 2 comments Same here :(
No prior warning and I was about to start working on my books app during Christmas break.
Really bad communication.


message 10: by Joe (new)

Joe Alcorn | 1 comments This is really a shame, but not surprising. Do we have any word on when these tools will be killed?
I've had 0 communication from GR, I only found out about this via twitter...


message 11: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Suvorov (intmainreturn00) | 9 comments it's such a shame. 😔


message 12: by Ali (new)

Ali (jasfu) | 2 comments My mobile application, which I have been dealing with for a long time, has become unusable. They hurt all my enthusiasm. I still have the API key, but they said we will remove all of them soon. When you make a decision, you announce it at least a year ago.


message 13: by Bert (new)

Bert | 6 comments Can agree with what I read here: both the sudden timing and communication are just awful. I filled in the feedback form to at least voice what would be nice for the developers using the API.

Seems like the decision was made though.
Does anyone have good recommendations of alternatives?
Can be here (if allowed) or via PM - interested both for API (especially if it includes reviews) but also for Goodreads.


message 14: by Aninha (new)

Aninha Costa (aninhacosta) | 6 comments This sucks.
I've sent a feedback through this link: https://goodreads.co1.qualtrics.com/j...
Sadly, I don't think it will do any good.

Are there any goodreads alternatives out there with open (at least partially) APIs?


message 15: by Nilesh (last edited Dec 10, 2020 09:10PM) (new)

Nilesh Trivedi | 1 comments For those who're looking for a direct equivalent of GoodReads, check out https://openlibrary.org/ by Internet Archive. It's open-source, does not require API keys, and even offers data dumps.

If you want a social network around learning resources (including books), check out https://learnawesome.org/ . This too is open-source, decentralized via support for ActivityPub protocol, under active development and offers both a REST api and a GraphQL API.


message 16: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Jones (stridera) | 1 comments I spent a long time working on a site powered by goodreads to handle our yearly awards (Reddit /r/fantasy stabby awards.) Took a vacation and came back to a message that my API key no longer works. A good week before we were planning on voting to begin. Guess it's back to google forms and manual book verification. Not cool at all...


message 17: by Gonçalo (new)

Gonçalo Garcia | 4 comments Can we at least get an ETA for the removal of the API?


message 18: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Siegel (danielmaxsiegel) | 2 comments I had been working on a tool to analyze the authors in a Goodreads users library of "read" books - this shutdown is killing a lot of work. Shame on whoever made this decision - at the very least, shame on them for giving us such poor communication.


message 19: by Ali (new)

Ali (jasfu) | 2 comments "We will not continue to support API endpoints moving forward - I'm sorry about that. However, you feedback is important to us and I encourage you to share your comments by completing the developer API survey, as this will help our product teams determine whether this is an area where we can provide support in the future once again. "
Goodreads Support


message 20: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 2 comments Hackernews thread about this deprecation: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=...


message 22: by Kyaw (new)

Kyaw Nanda | 1 comments Looking for book API for android application

I am final year student and doing my Android App. Unfortunately, Goodreads API is no longer issuing new developer keys for public. Problem is my app need book reviews. Is there any way to get user's review for a given book? Is there any way to get access for those API from Goodreads? Can you guys suggest me for any similar API like Goodreads.

I would be greatly appreciated for your help!! Thanks


message 23: by Kieran (new)

Kieran (protome) | 10 comments Wow this sucks.
Guess I’ll migrate my app to an alternative. Can’t imagine I’ll use goodreads much in the future tbh if the api goes away.


message 25: by Bert (new)

Bert | 6 comments I have asked for a timeline, will keep you all updated in case any news about that comes in.


message 26: by Nikko (new)

Nikko (nodiseos) | 9 comments This is sort of a glimmer of hope for those of us using it already, right?
" While we assess the value of APIs to determine how to support in the future, we continue to support active API users who meet our terms of service"


message 27: by Tino (new)

Tino (etino7) | 1 comments I had an idea for an app but I guess it's pointless now. Such a shame. I hope goodreads is working on a new, better API.

There are Google books API as alternative, but it's not very well categorized and half of the books don't have proper covers.


message 28: by Bert (new)

Bert | 6 comments "I have asked for a timeline, will keep you all updated in case any news about that comes in."

No news so far. Anyone managed to get more info on their timeline and if any endpoints might stay?


message 29: by Christina (new)

Christina Richards (christirichards) | 1 comments I feel like these issues with Goodreads, especially the sudden depreciation of the API and the lack of communication, are unfortunately going to keep getting worse. It saddens me to think that GR will likely never be better than it is right now and there isn’t much to be done about it. It’s also irritating to know that I won’t be able to continue my bookshelf/library project as part of my portfolio website.

I’ve been exploring other platforms lately like LibraryThing, Readfeed, and Litsy. It’s not quite the same and I’m certainly not ready to make the leap yet as I’ve been invested here for too long to just walk away, but I also want to be a part of a platform that has continual growth (and potential ways to build on it for personal projects).


message 30: by Julie (new)

Julie | 10 comments A couple questions: For those who had their keys deactivated were you currently using them or had they been inactive for over 30 days.

Another question I have, since I find the terminology from GR so vague are they not supporting the API anymore but you can still use it or are they closing the API and it will not be available to developers anymore at some point here meaning it will not be a public api. Or are they changing it and you will still be able to use it.

I just don't know why they don't give more information and why they are so incredibly difficult to get a hold of.


message 31: by Bert (new)

Bert | 6 comments Some good remarks there, Julie! Have asked these exact same questions weeks ago, they completely off the radar (despite following up on the matter).

If anyone manages to get more info on the topic: please share it here.


message 32: by Julie (new)

Julie | 10 comments I emailed them and it has been over a week now and no response. I just don't understand how you can have a public API and not be responsive at all. It is very frustrating.


message 33: by Rifath (new)

Rifath Rashid | 3 comments Does anyone know if the OAuth endpoints work at all for them? I'm getting 401's but not sure if there's something wrong with my code or if they just stopped serving those requests entirely?

I did create a developer key before they deprecated.


message 34: by Bert (new)

Bert | 6 comments Best to ask support directly, I'm not sure a lot of us here got answers. Mostly confusion :( Keep in mind support answers seem to take a while.
Not sure where else we can ask the question for better chances - maybe Twitter? Them seem to respons to Tweets there. Let us know if we can help upvoting any Tweets or questions.


message 35: by Julie (new)

Julie | 10 comments Anyone get any answers? I have not. Why is it so hard to get someone to answer a question or two from developers? This really baffles me. I would even settle for hey none of you can use our API anymore. Just something vs being in limbo.


message 36: by Luke (new)

Luke Steyn | 1 comments It feels anti-competitive to me .. this completely shuts down so many other smaller potential enterprises which don't actually compete with goodreads current product offering at all, because these other applications won't be able to use the data that's been generated by the sizeable monopolistic network effects that goodreads (and amazon by proxy) enjoys.

Personally, I'm making a complaint
https://www.ftc.gov/faq/competition/r...


message 37: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1 comments This makes me not like Amazon.


message 38: by Grzegorz (new)

Grzegorz | 1 comments ;).


message 39: by Elena (new)

Elena Neacşu | 1 comments Hi guys,

I'm coming to you with a quite odd demand as one might say. Back in November, I decided to develop a mobile app acting as a support app for Goodreads as my master's thesis, without knowing anything about the deprecation of the public API. I registered the app, got the keys and started the setup of the project. After that, I put it on hold due to exams and other work I had to do at my job and boom, 3 weeks ago when I decided to start the actual implementation work, I discovered that my keys got invalidated and read about this deprecation.
It's quite obvious that I cannot change the theme of my thesis now, I reached out to Goodreads explaining my situation and asking for a temporary key, but up to this day, I got no response from them. I am basically hopeless.
This is why I thought maybe one of you who still got the keys (and are still valid obviously) and is willing to help me, can "lend" them to me until I present my thesis at the end of July. I'd really really appreciate it since I'm absolutely desperate at this point :((
Please reach out to me in a PM and I can give you some more info on this.


message 40: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Murray | 1 comments https://goodreads.co1.qualtrics.com/j...

Goodreads' API deprecation survey^


message 41: by Julie (new)

Julie | 10 comments I filled that out ages ago. But again it would be good to know what the heck they plan to do so you can plan accordingly.


message 42: by Kieran (new)

Kieran (protome) | 10 comments Still no update on what the hell is going on with this then? :/


message 43: by Julie (new)

Julie | 10 comments Nope no one responds to emails. No one feels any need to update anyone using the API. I find it really annoying. The funny thing is Goodreads was built with the help of users. It’s people like the librarians who update things and I believe they do it voluntarily and authors and the such. When Amazon bought Goodreads years ago they could have done so much with this platform with their programming know how. I think maybe the just chose to eat the competition. Who knows. Obviously I’m frustrated that you can’t speak to anyone in the know around here.


message 44: by Bert (new)

Bert | 6 comments The original founder is still around, I think. If we can somehow reach him, he might be able to do more?


message 45: by Edwin (new)

Edwin (edwinkort) | 2 comments Not a developer, but using a WordPress plugin (Recencio), that fetch data from GoodReads. It will be a same if we can't use this anymore and have to get the data from another place. Been a GoodReads member since forever but find the lack of information about this change disturbing.
I'm also on Librarything, but that is a completely different kind of site, that one is more focused on the library part of books, instead of just enjoying them by reading.
Let's hope that someone out here knows of a good alternative.


message 46: by Julie (new)

Julie | 10 comments So has anyone gotten any word yet on what they are doing with this API at all?


message 47: by Gonçalo (new)

Gonçalo Garcia | 4 comments Have people's keys been revoked? I haven't used mine in a while and now I can't authenticate


message 48: by Akira (new)

Akira Taguchi (akirata) | 3 comments At least no new keys can be generated


message 49: by Sam (new)

Sam Gehly | 1 comments This is very sad to see. To have such a large site dedicated to reading become another walled garden like Facebook or Instagram is truly a shame.

This is not because of the ability to search or get data surrounding books (OpenLibrary is a very good service for this), but because so many people use GoodReads and to give apps insight to what their users are reading enhances so many legitimate experiences.


message 50: by Akira (new)

Akira Taguchi (akirata) | 3 comments I figure I'm just going to export my books every once in a while to my OpenLibrary bookshelves like the official instructions say here: https://help.goodreads.com/s/article/...


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