We’ve released the first version of our Trust API to help users make better purchase decisions and online businesses grow their trust and revenue.
We are excited to announce that the first versions of the UTU Trust API (Application Programming Interface) and SDK (Software Development Kit) are now available!
The Trust API brings a real model of human trust to any app where users have to make choices based on trust, or face any type of risk in their decision.
This includes online platforms and marketplaces where users can find, buy, or book any services or products, such as ridesharing apps, local home services platforms, freelancing marketplaces, and more. If you run any of these types of platforms, talk with us!
This article will provide information about what problem we’re solving, how the Trust API solves it, its benefits, and what’s in store for the future. And make sure you don’t miss the video demo at the end of this post.
What problem is the Trust API solving?
Current online trust systems can’t always be trusted.
Anonymous ratings and reviews are often manipulated. For example, Trustpilot removed 2.2 million fake reviews last year.
Furthermore, current trust mechanisms don’t reflect how we trust in the real world.
Let’s say you’re a parent looking for a babysitter for your toddler. How would you go about this search?
Most would ask their closest friends with kids who they hire as a babysitter, and look into those options first. Most wouldn’t ask hundreds of random strangers about their opinion.
Yet this is what online trust mechanisms ask of us.
These problems often lead to poor purchase decisions for consumers, and harmed reputations and lost sales for online businesses.
We can do better.
How the Trust API works
UTU’s Trust API replaces typical rating and review tools, and uses social connections and artificial intelligence to provide users with the most trusted recommendations from people they know.
A real-world use case
Let’s walk through a real example of how the Trust API works — a ridesharing app where rider safety (and hence driver trustworthiness) is paramount. We implemented the Trust API in Maramoja, the Kenya-based ridesharing app.
Let’s say you’re looking for a driver to take you to a restaurant in Nairobi. You open up your ridesharing app and look for that driver.
Instead of just seeing highly-rated drivers that are nearby, you see a driver that two of your social connections have ridden with and trust, as such:
There may be times where more detailed information might be available to make recommendations even more relevant, such as:
“Your friends John Kariuki and Martha Kalume trust this taxi driver; they often go to similar places in the destination area.”
Given this information, wouldn’t you trust that driver?
Essentially, if you trust your friends, and your friends trust a person, then it’s highly likely that you’ll trust that person.
This is how we trust in real life, but not online. Until now.
How the Trust API serves relevant recommendations
The UTU artificial intelligence trust engine considers the social relationships among users and service providers, as well as other relevant context data where applicable, to deliver personalized recommendations.
In the example above, this means that:
A) The trust engine determined that the user was friends with John Kariuki and Martha Kalume, using:
- Social data from networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, or others.
- Connection data from the UTU mobile phone contact connector (which will be available in upcoming mobile SDKs).
- Other types of relationships that may be present in the application.
B) All users provided permission to show their names as recommenders to other users.
C) Users also allowed additional data, such as that they “often go to similar places in the destination area”, to be displayed.
Of course, all of this is done with users’ privacy in mind, and users will always have control over how their data is used.
Benefits of using the Trust API
Personalized recommendations served by the Trust API makes it easy for customers to make the best decision possible when selecting a product or service provider.
In the Maramoja use case, we learned that 96% of riders chose socially-referred drivers over highly-rated but unknown drivers.
These contextual recommendations also provide the following benefits to online businesses:
- Increased conversion rates.
- Decreased customer acquisition cost.
- Improved retention, satisfaction, lifetime value, and viral acquisition.
- Increases revenue from improved upsell and cross-sell capabilities.
- Increases brand value around transparency, privacy, and respect for user data.
We saw 20%+ increases in conversion rate and customer satisfaction in the Maramoja example.
We’ve been working with pilot partners such as Jamborow, Shuttle One, CryptoTask, AmpNet, and others who we can’t mention yet (sorry…soon!) to make sure our trust infrastructure fits and provides similar benefits for every sector and context.
The advantages are clear, and if you’re an online marketplace looking to garner these benefits, talk with us!
How the Trust API will work in the future
With the launch of the Trust API, we are only on Day 1 of increasing trust across the internet.
As you may know, we are also building the UTU protocol, which:
- Uses blockchain to ensure reviews and ratings can’t be manipulated.
- Compensates users who provide accurate ratings.
- And allows for full control of data privacy.
Businesses will be able to compensate their users for their honest ratings and reviews. Users will be able to endorse (or disapprove) products, other users, organizations, or any other entity they engage with across the internet.
The combination of the Trust API integrated into business’ applications and the UTU protocol will create an ecosystem of trust that cuts across industries, geographies, blockchains, or any other border.
Check out this video to learn more about how the API works and how you can integrate it into your web app to increase trust of your online marketplace or eCommerce platform.
Our CTO Bastian goes over:
- How to sign up for the Trust API.
- How to set up key features such as star ratings, text and video reviews, recommendations, and more — including looking at the API’s source code.
- How our recommendation algorithms work.
We are on a mission to become the trust infrastructure of the entire internet to make it a safer, more trusted place to gather, share, work, and trade.
And the launch of the Trust API is just the beginning.
You’ll see a lot more information, such as demos, documentation, and more, very soon. Stay tuned.
If you’re a business interested in increasing trust for your platform, please reach out to us.