Most online consumers have encountered the term API and are quite interested to find out more; beyond the technical jargon of what the acronym stands for: Application Programming Interface.
First off, API is a product that is usually offered to developers of applications or resource platforms that will allow the offering of a specific product or service to consumers by way of digital technology.
Know that the term interface refers to a program that enables mobile app user to connect to a platform from which they are requesting a service. An API allows communication between the app user’s device and a specific service provider’s platform.
Simple Example of How APIs Work
The simplest example is when a user of a Facebook Messenger app wants to send a message to other FB Messenger users. The API acts as the conduit or intermediary program that will connect the requesting party to Facebook’s Messenger platform. Upon receipt of the request, the FB platform will in turn, process the request, whilst making sure that only those authorized to connect to that particular Messenger app can send back responses, which the API forwards to the requesting party. .
Why API is Important for Mobile App Developers and Resource Providers
Since APIs are products in the form of program codes offered to app developers and resource platforms, the quality of the API integrated as part of the program or software is of great importance. The API can promote active use of the mobile application, especially when users find it easy to engage in the quickest time possible and in the safest of environments.
APIs can influence customer experience and can become a deciding factor for app users to continue using the stores or the service providers to which their app is connected.
The industry benchmark in determining the quality of the API that sends out communications between app user and resource platforms is the level of user retention, or the percentage of users who return and engage through the app within three months, from the very first session.
Still, it is important to note that brands tend to set their own standards of customer engagement and retention, as metrics to follow when choosing the mobile apps and resource platforms.
Some of the major technology companies that offer APIs are Google, Amazon, Expedia, eBay and Salesforce, because their platforms are connected to the most popular commercial markets. .