An API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. They’re usually designed to support specific types of online services such as those that share data or offer messaging functionality. APIs can be created by an individual developer, as part of a corporate initiative, or as open-source code on the web. This article will explore how APIs can be used in social media and how you can develop one for your business.
For example, YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows users to upload and share content. The site uses the YouTube API so that other programmer can use their service in order to add videos to their own websites.
Types of APIs Used in Social Networks
There are three types of APIs which are broken down by what they are meant for:
- Web Service APIs – These are used for websites or applications which allow users to access data through standard protocols such as HTTP, XML, etc. An example is the Evernote Note Web API, which gives developers access to user notes stored on their online account
- Business Process APIs – These provide businesses with tools that aid them in operations, productivity, or marketing. An example of this is Adobe’s Marketing Cloud Exchange, which allows marketers to integrate Adobe’s Marketing Cloud services with third-party applications or software
Creating an API for your business allows users access to your data so they can customize it in a way that works best for them. It creates a win-win situation because you gain both skilled employees and customers while giving them the tools necessary to succeed in their job. This means that when searching through job listings, applicants will likely include experience with various APIs as a desired, job-specific skill.
What is the impact of APIs on social media?
APIs are being used in most major social media sites today, especially the ones that have embraced mobile technology. Twitter was one of the first to do so by releasing its own API which allowed developers to create custom applications using their data. This led to Twitter’s growth from just a microblogging website into a full-fledged publishing and discovery platform with its own ecosystem and culture.
Other sites such as Tumblr and Facebook also use APIs for external use but focus on the interaction between users rather than third-party tools. For example, Facebook uses them for login functionality and allows users to share content. Meanwhile, Tumblr allows other websites or blogs to incorporate photos or videos from their site.
In many cases, developers have been able to create innovative social media applications using these APIs as a launching pad. For example, Pinterest was able to take advantage of Twitter’s API to launch their own website as well as expand into other mediums such as mobile apps and wearable technology.