Social media has been one of the greatest boons that the internet can bestow upon mankind. It has revolutionized interaction, transaction and communication for people across the world, and has made the world a global village; with news, stories, entertainment, politics and finance all within the reach of the common man with a few short clicks of a mouse or taps on a touchscreen. The ubiquity of social networks has made it the go-to solution for communication. However, modern communication is not only limited between people, but is also made between man and machine. Modern computing devices have become extremely powerful and they require a medium to communicate with each other. To solve this problem, developers have created APIs or Application Programming Interfaces, which allow for various computing systems such as servers, mobile apps, television sets and even cars to relay data to one another with relevant ease. Combining the power of social media and APIs, AIS Technolabs has created unique solutions that incorporate the best of both worlds, allowing mobile applications to communicate directly with social media and other relevant solutions.
How APIs Changed the Mobile App Landscape
The mobile application systems were initially developed to enable smartphones to do basic tasks such as send emails, visit websites and listen to music. With the development of APIs, it is possible for mobile computing devices such as smartphones and smartwatches to not only go about with simple tasks, but also communicate with other devices, fusing the benefits of inter-human and inter-application data exchange. The growth and spurt of APIs have allowed developers to create custom and tailor-made applications that can perform a variety of tasks, giving rise to the concept of the ‘super-app’; a single application for chatting, voice and video communication, payment transaction, and online booking of goods and services. To ensure that various devices can communicate effectively with each other, APIs use a standardized system of data exchange, with JSON and XML being two of the most popular data exchange methods in use currently.
Social Media APIs
Various social media organizations such as Facebook and Twitter have released their APIs to the public so that apps can leverage the benefits of these systems. Here are some of the most prominent social media APIs that AIS Technolabs uses to enhance the usability and functioning of its tailor-made applications.
Facebook has always been at the forefront of personal engagement, and their API carries that to the mobile application sphere as well. The Facebook API allows developers to integrate logins using Facebook data, as well as the ability to share and post details for a wide variety of use-cases. The Facebook API uses a standardized REST API protocol and adheres to the strictest data security principles, allowing users to easily share their data online without any worry or hassles. Furthermore, with the acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, the Facebook API allows developers to use the features of these apps directly as well.
Similar to the Facebook API, the Twitter API provides a similar level of functionality, but also allows developers to integrate custom scheduling of tweets, direct private and personal interaction, and the ability to develop custom applications for the Twitter platform.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, and while not as popular as Facebook or Twitter, it is still one of the largest social media networks. LinkedIn is used by recruiters to recruit, groom and select talent for organizations, and its API allows for that easily. The LinkedIn API has been used by developers to provide users with the ability to create resumes online, as well as provide recruiters with a complete picture about a person’s educational and technical background.
Tumblr is a social media solution for budding writers and bloggers, and it has a niche following; especially amongst women in the English-speaking world. The Tumblr API allows developers to create apps that users can easily post on Tumblr, as well as use its forums to create an open communication platform without any server overhead.
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Third Party APIs
Other than social media, a large number of organizations provide APIs to allow developers to integrate their solutions into mobile apps easily to benefit users in a plethora of ways. Some of the largest third-party APIs are:
Google has been at the forefront of developing APIs to ensure that their various products and solutions can interact with each other easily, and they have open-sourced their APIs for developers to create custom solutions using their back-end. Google’s most popular APIs include those for secure sign-up and login, a next-generation CAPTCHA which can distinguish between bots and humans with unerring accuracy, the YouTube API to embed video content easily, and a plethora of other APIs related to their vast arsenal of software products.
Dropbox is a file sharing platform, allowing users to easily share files on the internet in a safe and secure manner, and their API allows mobile app developers to integrate these functions directly to their app. File storage is still the most common way for users as well as developers to store information, and the Dropbox API lets developers use its file-storage solutions to not only enhance the capabilities of their app, but also provide users with a secure storage solution as well.
While there are various benefits in the use of third-party and social media APIs, AIS Technolabs also creates custom APIs for superior control of the data, as well as creating tailor-made solutions for users across the globe.
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