Most integrations into our API are straight forward. Simple automation for sending digital gift cards as rewards or incentives.
Some are a little different.
On its face, our most recent integration partner, Passenger, is a straight forward integration. A leader in online communities, their new integration with us powers the digital gift card rewards that community members can get in exchange for points. Giftbit powers a simple way to offer more choice and greater control to their clients.
We had the opportunity to see Passenger's FUEL Community Engine in action with its new Giftbit API integration, and it made us want to play. Let me explain.
In short (and probably over-simplified), the FUEL Community Engine is a set of tools for creating and engaging with a private community of stakeholders. The community is ususally made up of customers or employees. Gamification is a new tool available on the FUEL platform to encourage participation and engagement.
Gamification makes us want to play
The FUEL platform lets you, as a community member, earn points for completing actions. Community administrators determine which actions earn what number of points, but here are some common examples:
Complete your profile, earn some points. Comment on a blog post, earn some more points. Complete a survey, oh, you better believe you just earned yourself more points.
Eventually, like a child in Chuck E. Cheese's, you stand there, wide-eyed, standing in the crowd with a handful of tickets. A little overwhelmed at the possibilities, you hope to exchange this handful of hard-earned paper for a prize. Perhaps you'll choose the silly putty, or maybe a foam airplane...
With Passenger, however, you have points not tickets, and thanks to their integration with Giftbit, instead of silly putty and foam airplanes (which, don't get me wrong, are awesome), you get to choose from a selection of digital gift cards.
Yes, after watching the demonstration of the FUEL platform with gamification, even our CEO wanted to start earning points. That's the power of well executed gamification.
In the end, the Giftbit API powers a very small part of the FUEL Community Engine.
However, by specializing in digital gift card rewards and incentives, we make it easy for companies like Passenger to build our functionality into their applications for some pretty exciting results - such as allowing clients to customize which gift cards are offered in exchange for points. We take care of our small part, rewards and incentives, so Passenger can focus on further improving community engagement.
API's are great because they allow for integration, integration allows for specialization, and specialization sets the stage for some spectacular things (like gamification and silly putty).