The API Economy: What's In It For Business?
API stands for application programming interface. In simpler words, it means pieces of software talking to each other. This disruptive technology is starting to take hold, and it is clear that it will play an important role in the future.
Although we don’t realize it, many of the things businesses use today are actually part of the API economy.
Now, let’s explore ways API’s can help your business.
Exposing Core Features for Consumption
There are some companies that have managed to take advantage of the API economy by using some of the core features within complimentary apps. The biggest example is Salesforce.
Salesforce provides CRM tools that businesses can use within their collaborative applications. They can gain a lot of crucial information that can help them make intelligent decisions. There are many companies that have managed to successfully gain crucial information, and this has allowed them to better meet the needs of their customers and optimize their digital marketing efforts.
Counting on API for Usage
Did you know that Facebook and Twitter rely almost entirely on APIs to drive usage? The API allows engagement to expand beyond the basic user interface. This is how it communicates with other pieces of software, and more importantly ‘apps.’ Most of the nifty features available today on both these social media networks have been a result of the API economy.
Sharing Great Content
Brands have used APIs to share freemium content and present commercial offers through third-party providers. This can have a huge effect on their bottom line because they are able to sell from multiple channels. It potentially helps customers buy without leaving their favorite social network.
Opening Up More Capabilities
Despite the API economy existing for a number of years, it is still evolving and changing. Businesses are only just seeing what it can do for them.
Take SYSTRAN.io as an example. The company offers language analytics and translation that help entrepreneurs add language technology into their mobile, web and enterprise applications.
Entrepreneurs can make it a useful tool and translate or analyze language by connecting with other pieces of software, like Textlingual, a texting app that uses the SYSTRAN.io API to translate texts in real time.
It is no longer a private translator that exists in isolation to everything else in the world. It can now connect to apps, hardware and big data.
What makes it so valuable is the fact that it can collaborate with what is already in the market.
A More Collaborative World
You will notice that the API economy revolves around collaboration. It collaborates with other pieces of software while making it a more collaborative world than ever before. Businesses will now be combining their software preferences in order to achieve more.
The truth is that you already utilize API within your company. Surprising right? The difference is now you need to pay more attention than ever before. You have to use it with a purpose in mind of solving problems for your customer. APIs can benefit a business in several ways when implemented correctly.
Vinil Ramdev is an entrepreneur, business writer and marketer. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Marketing in 2004. Since then, Vinil has been involved in starting and growing several businesses predominantly in retail, marketing, media, advertising and on the internet. His skill for seeing the big picture, and identifying trends and patterns have made him a sort-after consultant for companies who want to grow their business and make their products more discoverable.