When you hear someone talking about APIs, they are most likely talking about either open or public APIs. Almost every software has these kinds of APIs implemented inside it. They can be found everywhere you look.
This is not too surprising since having one of these APIs integrated with your software can do wonders for your app or site and your business as a whole.
By allowing the other developers’ software to integrate with yours, you could get some benefits you could offer to your future customers. To help you realise the potential of open APIs, we are going to talk about some of their most significant advantages.
What is an Open API?
APIs are sets of standards and requirements that enable the communication between two pieces of software. Simply put, open or public APIs are free for anyone to use.
All you need to do is generate API documentation that every developer can understand, and you open your API to everyone. An open API could be used by the third-party developers to integrate with existing software or to create a new app on top of that API.
You have a number examples of this in your phone right now. Every application you have on your mobile phone is the product of an interface that was open for other developers to use. In the last couple of years, mobile devices have been the biggest benefactors of those type of APIs.
Opening the software for other people to use can potentially create anxiety for some developers. However, you shouldn’t worry too much, because this pays off in the end.
Advantages of an Open API
As we said, there are numerous advantages to open APIs. And now, we’re going to list some of them. A thing to keep in mind that this is not a complete list – there are other benefits we wouldn’t have enough time to talk about. These are just some of the ones we feel are the most important. Without further ado, let’s start…
Advantage #1 – User Engagement Could be increased with Open APIs
One way of improving the user engagement is by making the products you’re offering more valuable. That’s just common sense, right? Well, that means you need to make your users more reliant on your product. Open APIs are crucial for increasing the value of your products because they can make this reliance. The most prominent example we can think about is Spotify.
The Spotify application uses APIs which build a system that helps them acquire new customers on a daily basis. In the beginning, their API was used for making different widgets available inside of their desktop application. And now, they are encouraging other developers to develop new applications on top of their API. This increases their exposure and allows their users to rely on their API more.
Engagement is a crucial part of making an app successful. That doesn`t mean the task needs to be time-consuming. When other applications implement your API, your product will evolve more, with the help of the developers in the free market. So instead of wasting your time with going through some of the more popular products on the market, you can create some integrations that will feel a higher sense of value in the future.
Advantage #2 – Decreasing User Headaches
Developing a highly valuable website from scratch was hard in the past. One more thing that was hard was a relationship between the two APIs. You can see this process had limited options for the developer. Nowadays, we see a revolution in web developing, and how much options the developers are having while building a website or application.
The ultimate example of this is WordPress. There are over 350,000 plug-ins and themes that are available to WP users. They offer simple solutions to any problem you might face while building a website from the ground up. Also, they are allowing the other developers to create their apps and plugins and integrate them with the WordPress products.
Advantage #3 – Increase of Product Functionality
Your software could always be better, no matter how good it was when you made it public. One of the most important things to improve continuously is the functionality of your product. To do this correctly, you should take a peek into some of the existing APIs or even apps that are available on the market. There is no doubt that some of the developers already came up with some excellent ideas.
Here, we also have a unique example. You’re probably already familiar with Slack, and all of its useful updates. However, if you’re not, basically this app is allowing the teams to have a communication with the intuitive environment. We can surely say that this application could not exist without the significant number of APIs that are available on the internet. The Slack model will combine all the team`s tools into one messenger. There are countless examples of those messengers on the web.
When they first came out, open APIs presented a revolution in the IT world. But in the meantime, APIs managed to penetrate our society way deeper. Today, we can see that this revolution has spread on to the other aspects of human communication and relations. And as you see, the advantages open APIs offer will help you improve your product, spread brand awareness, and in the end, keep your users completely satisfied.
We hope you enjoyed our article and that you found it helpful. If you have anything to add or you have some questions, feel free to leave a comment in our comment section. We will get back at you as soon as possible.