Halossary Marketing Terms Defined: What is an API?

What is an API?

Have you ever asked “what is an API?” You most likely have heard of it, but do you know what it means? API stands for application programming interface, and in our Halossary (your handy dandy collection of marketing terms), it’s defined as “code that makes data and/or functionality from one website available for use in other applications.”

Internet and technology companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, release an API so other sites and products can connect to their services to read and write data. For example, desktop and mobile sites can interact with Facebook by implementing the Facebook API. This lets you use other applications to “like” articles, post photos, and in return, give those apps permissions to request access to your Facebook information—all without having to redirect you to Facebook.com. That little Facebook “share” button you see everywhere? That’s a Facebook API endpoint right there.

Pinterest is the latest company to release its API to the public, allowing marketers to integrate popular user activity on Pinterest with their websites. Pinterest’s API endpoints can showcase top repins from your site, most recent Pins, related Pins, most clicked-through Pins, and Pins from specific search terms.

In May, Pinterest also released an Insights data API, allowing marketing technology companies to provide deeper insights into your brand or product’s performance on Pinterest, and how you compare among your competitors.

An API generally adds value to a product, especially when you build compelling apps to complement the main product. Are you integrating APIs with your company’s website? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter by tagging @TheHaloGroup or #Halossary.

Halossary Complete Definition: API (Application Programming Interface)

An API is code that makes data and/or functionality from one website available for use in other applications. It allows developers to connect to other services to read/write data. For example, the Facebook API is implemented by websites and by mobile phones to interact with Facebook. This lets applications “Like” stuff, post photos, and request access to your Facebook info-all without having to go to facebook.com. That little Facebook share button-everywhere? That’s a Facebook API endpoint right there!

View all Halossary marketing terms here.

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