Monday, January 14, 2013

What's new on Kiva?

One of Kiva's core values is transparency. So we're introducing "What's new?" to keep our users informed about the latest interesting changes to the website. 

Did you know we release a new version of the Kiva website every two weeks? Our last release was on January 8, and it was a little special because it included Innovation Iteration changes -- meaning that developers got to choose their own projects.

So here's a breakdown of what's cool and new on the Kiva site as of 1/8/2013:

OAuth Closed Beta

We have been working on our OAuth implementation for over a year, and we're happy to say it's now in the closed beta stage, which means select developers are giving it a real-world test drive.

OAuth will allow third-party app developers to ask their users permission to securely access their private data. This will mean a whole host of new and interesting applications built by our developer community!

If you were not chosen to be part of the closed beta, fear not, we anticipate this stage will only last a few months before we move on to the open beta stage. If you have any questions you can contact us via the Build Kiva mailing list.

Lender-to-lender Kiva Cards

An easy way for Kiva users to send Kiva Cards to other lenders without having to ask for their email or physical address. Now if you want to send a Kiva Card to a current Kiva lender, you can choose to send it via their lender ID.

This is a great tool for lending team captains who want to reward team members with Kiva Cards and for lenders who want to send gifts to other lenders they've met through the Kiva community. When you use this feature, Kiva will send an email to the lender with instructions to redeem their Kiva Card. Note that anonymous Kiva users cannot be sent Kiva cards.

There are 3 ways to send a Kiva Card via lender ID:

- On a person's lender page (eg click on "Send a Kiva Card."
- On a team message board, click on "Send a Kiva Card" on one of the lender's posts.
- Go to and click to send via Kiva Lender ID.
A person's lender ID can be found at the end of a person's lender page URL. For example:

Friend activity widget on My Portfolio page

If you have used Facebook Connect to link your Kiva and Facebook accounts, you will now see a new widget on your Portfolio page showing your Facebook Friends' activity on Kiva. It also shows which of your Facebook friends are on Kiva and which loan sectors are most popular amongst them. You can even “like” your friends’ activities directly from your Portfolio page.

Borrower profile updates

We have made several small changes to make the information clearer on our Borrower pages, or Loan Profile pages. We’ve also added some new stats and a map! Visit the Lend tab and choose a borrower to see the changes.