SharkLaser writes "Open APIs might be the way to get rich in 2012. At the same time, it can also be what ultimately hinders open source development. A wide range of companies, including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter, are building open APIs for other developers to use and build upon. Open APIs can be used by companies to grow their user base and introduce new, interesting features on top of their platform. Independent developers can utilize established services and their users to grow their own business. A perfect example of open APIs is Facebook Apps, which lets individuals and companies develop applications and games on top of the Facebook platform. Developers gain access to Facebook's established user base and Facebook gains new features and fun stuff to do on their site. Instead of open sourcing their platforms, companies like Google and Facebook are providing Open APIs and data access to outside developers. The actual source code for the services sits safely inside the company's network and never needs to be disclosed to outside parties, thus hindering open source development."