Third-Party Developers' Adoption of Platform APIs and Their Continued New App Development: A Competing Risk Analysis

Posted: 21 Aug 2019

See all articles by Ling Xue

Ling Xue

Georgia State University

Arun Rai

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Peijian Song

Nanjing University

Cheng Zhang

Fudan University

Date Written: August 18, 2019

Abstract

In this study, we theorize and empirically investigate how third-party developers’ adoption of platform APIs may influence their likelihood to continue develop new applications for software platform. We use the data about a major web browser platform and our analysis incorporates the consideration of following issues: 1) the interdependence between different development choices of third-party developers (updating existing apps, within-category new app development, and cross-category new app development); 2) different types of APIs (high-level APIs and low-level APIs) based on the level of abstraction, modularization, and development standardization; and 3) the competitive environment faced by third-party developers. We develop a joint frailty model to capture different development activities and perform a competing risk analysis to assess the influences of API adoption by developers. Our results show that the adoption of platform APIs increases the likelihood for third-party developers to build new apps both in their existing app categories and in new categories. The adoption of high-level APIs generates a weaker effect than the adoption of low-level APIs in fostering new app development. We also find that the positive effect of high-level API adoption on cross-category new app development becomes stronger in more competitive environment, and that on within-category new app development becomes weaker in more competitive environment.

Keywords: Software Platform, Application Programming Interface, Third-party Application, Application Development, Competing Risk Analysis

Suggested Citation

Xue, Ling and Rai, Arun and Song, Peijian and Zhang, Cheng, Third-Party Developers' Adoption of Platform APIs and Their Continued New App Development: A Competing Risk Analysis (August 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3438970

Ling Xue (Contact Author)

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Arun Rai

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Peijian Song

Nanjing University ( email )

No. 22 Hankou Road
Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093
China

Cheng Zhang

Fudan University ( email )

Beijing West District Baiyun Load 10th
Shanghai, 100045
China

HOME PAGE: http://homepage.fudan.edu.cn/~zccheng

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