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What Is An API? The Answer in 500 Words or Less

If you’re looking for an explanation of what an API is, then you have come to the right place. Down below, we are going to talk about what an API is, what it does, and why it is important. So, if you are interested, carry on reading to learn all about the world of API’s, and you can make them work to your advantage.


What Is An API?


API stands for application programming interface. Basically, it is a set of rules. Or, if you would prefer, it is the middleman between two applications. What happens, is an API allows an application to take information from a piece of software and then use it in another application. Or, if it’s not being used for another application, it might be used for data analysis. To put it as simply as possible, an API allows two applications to talk to each other. So, the API is the messenger in this scenario, and it takes your message to the provider that you require the information from. Once it has it, it brings it back to you for you to use.


API For Marketing


Have you heard of Facebook Audience Management APIs? No? Well, when you put an ad on Facebook, you are hoping that it shows up on the right people’s pages and the success of your ad depends on this. It is not a coincidence where your ad ends up. Facebook is trying to make it easier for you to find your target audience with this API. You can use the data that you already have in a number of places to find the ideal Facebook users to see your ads. After this, you will be able to find what are called lookalike audiences and find more people to see your ad. You will also be able to measure the success of your ad through APIs like this.


So, APIs are going to be able to help gather the information that you will need to help provide solutions to your customers. There are a variety of APIs available, not just the Facebook one that we have already mentioned. A few of the others are Twitter, FullContact Developer APIs, and Google Analytic APIs.


Why Is This Important?


One of the questions that you might have in your head now is why is this important? But also, why are other companies sharing this data with no charge? Well, the simple answer is that when companies grow, they tend to find that they have too many ideas for them to develop on their own. But by using APIs, they are able to allow third parties to create an application that can adopt the main platform. By doing this, it could lead to a potential increase in revenue opportunities as an entirely new ecosystem has been built around this information.


We hope that after reading this article, you feel like you better understand what an API is and how you can use it to your advantage in your business.