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Ingenious Uses Of The Most Popular APIS Pt. 2

This is Part 2 of this blog series.

If you have already read Part 1, then you can skip the next few paragraphs and scroll right down to Most Popular APIs. If you have not read Part 1, be sure to Check It Out.

Excerpt from Part 1.

Whether you are a CIO or a small business owner, whether it is for a mobile app or your website, these APIs seem to be continuously appearing everywhere. Today, we are going to talk about some of the most popular APIs and, more specifically, some of the unique, creative and ingenious ways companies are using the world’s most accessible APIs to create unforgettable experiences for their customers or their users. And in turn, how you can use them for your business.

In case you need a refresher, APIs are basically messengers between two systems that continuously send and receive requested data. I.e. when you receive mail on your smartphone, there is an API between your mail provider and the application on your phone. You do not have to do anything, the API already knows what it is supposed to do.

In this article, we are going to look at a few of the most popular APIs and show you how other companies (both large and small) are using these APIs to their advantage.

So You Wanted Some More API Inspiration? We’ve Got You Covered

Google Maps API

Google Maps alone has over 15 APIs available on their Google Developers Website. The complete Google APIs catalogue is in the hundreds. Google Maps has APIs that available for Android, iOS, Web and Web Services. Here are some ingenious uses of Google Maps APIs:

WhatsApp
WhatsApp Screenshot

WhatsApp is a communication and messaging service that does not require an SMS plan – everything can be done with an internet connection. WhatsApp uses the Google Maps Android and iOS APIs as part of their overall app functionality. Also, they use the Google Places API to allow their users to send their location information to friends. Using Google’s APSs allows WhatsApp to focus on user experience and not gathering geo-location data – leave that to Google.

Airbnb
Airbnb Screenshot

Similar to WhatsApp, Airbnb’s business model uses Google Maps APIs to make it easier for their users to use Airbnb’s services. Airbnb allows users to rent their living spaces to renters similar to a hotel app. Airbnb uses the Google Maps JavaScript API, the Google Maps Android & iOS APIs, the Google Maps Geocoding API and the Google Places API for their renting services.

YouTube API

YouTube is under the umbrella of Google APIs, but has their own established catalogue. YouTube has 8 APIs available on their Google (YouTube) Developers Website. Their APIs are broken down into 3 categories: YouTube Players, YouTube Data & Resources and YouTube Tools & Widgets. Here is an ingenious use of the YouTube API:

Electronic Arts: Spore
Spore Screenshot

Electronic Arts is one of the largest video gaming companies in the world and Spore was one of their most talked about games. Spore, in short, is a game where you create creatures, tribes and worlds and then visit other friends’ worlds to see what they have created. Because of the social premise behind the game, Spore wanted to implement a fun way for users to share what they had built. EA used the YouTube Live Streaming API to create a 2-click interface that would allow users to upload their creatures and worlds to their personal YouTube channels. This created social benefits that enhanced the users overall experience.

EBay API

On the EBay Developer Website there are over 10 APIs. The main APIs are Finding API, Shopping API and Trading API. Here is an ingenious use of the EBay API:

Shopseen
Shopseen Screenshot

Shopseen is a selling platform that allow users to upload their products to multiple online sales systems. They use EBay’s Trading API and integrate their users’ sales postings with the e-commerce website. They’re app also integrates with Square, Shopify and Etsy among others.

I Hope You Enjoyed Our Mini-Ingenious Uses of APIs Blog Series

As you can see, there are many unique uses for APIs that can redefine how businesses interact with their customers. APIs are no longer just a means for multi-million dollar companies; smaller businesses are taking advantage of these APIs and the massive amounts of data that can be accessed through them. It is still not a job for the average person, but with a solid development team, you can truly start using the power of APIs to create an unforgettable customer experience through your applications.

In case you missed our first round of ingenious uses of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest APIs, check out Ingenious Uses of the Most Popular APIs Pt. 1!

If you enjoy our Web Blogs, be sure to subscribe to our Core Web Newsletter!

And as always, Thanks for Reading!

Steve Malott

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