Our web browsing experience is becoming more targeted and seamless with each passing day. This especially holds true when it comes to the online ads we see as we click through news, entertainment, and social media sites. For example, let’s say that earlier you were playing a game on your smartphone, and to save your game data, you were asked to log in to the game app using your Facebook account. Within a minute, the game app began to ask you if you’d like to invite your friends to play and even offered you a list of your own Facebook friends to hit up.
How did the game app know? How does this happen? The answer is a simple yet powerful bit of code called an Application Programming Interface, or more commonly, an API.
If you’ve never heard of APIs, take heart: you’re not alone. While they’re a fairly common part of digital marketing and website development, the average person probably has not even heard the term. However, as noted in the aforementioned example, APIs have probably figured heavily in your internet browsing and overall online experience. What are they, and why are they important? Read on for some explanation.
In simple terms, an API is how one application connects with another application, or how they “talk” and share information. Different websites and apps have different APIs with different functionality, but it’s important to remember that APIs don’t send or receive all of hte information from a particular application. Instead, certain information is selected to give a user better information, like nearby destinations on a map, or to create a retargeted ad featuring a recently viewed product with a quick link to buy it now.
The great thing about APIs is that they can make the user experience much more personalized. Compare it to more traditional media, where marketers take their best guess at who their audience might be and then display one ad or one block of information. An API shares specific information so that more of what each user sees on a website, app, or other form of digital media is directly relevant.
With content APIs, this web experience is even more targeted and even more personal. The data that’s shared from one application to another can give marketers and publishers the information they need to deliver timely, relevant, and quality content to any user. This can be one on a website, on a mobile app, or even through other channels like gaming consoles and e-books.
One of the best parts of content APIs (and all APIs, for that matter) is that they’re both free to and hidden from the user. They run in the background to obtain the necessary information, unbeknownst to the person using the computer or device. Still, the web content they deliver is more personal, responsive, and geographically relevant than ever before.
Navigating the digital frontier can be intimidating and complicated for even the most experienced communications professional. But the experts at Montreal’s Adeo Internet Marketing can help equip your company with the latest digital marketing tools, from APIs to web application development and more. Give us a call today at (877) 841-5386, and let us put our highly skilled team of creative professionals and technical gurus to work for you.