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The Most Important Acronym You’ve Never Heard

In the early 2000s, the social landscape looked vastly different. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. It would be quite a while until the first iPhone was introduced and acronyms like LOL, OMG and TTYL would enter the picture.

But even back then, Granicus was starting to see our client list grow, and today millions of messages are sent each day to connect with citizens around the world. We’re more engaged than ever on social and communications platforms.

And behind it all, there is an acronym that is making our ability to engage with one another possible: API, or Application Programming Interface.

While a seemingly complex term, APIs are simply the middleman between a programmer and an application. In other words, APIs are a common boundary between a set of information and a user.

Here are examples that you might be familiar with: Have you ever streamed a show on Netflix? Do you have an app that tells you when you could expect the next bus, or what traffic looks like?

All of these examples use APIs to connect to an information source, approve the transfer of information, and then allow access for a user.

At Granicus, we use APIs to give our clients a standard interface with a growing number of features to achieve their goals. Here is a list of potential use cases for APIs:

  • Customize a web form
  • Manage topics
  • Automate tasks
  • Sync internal lists

Like other cloud services, we meet these needs and other client requirements by ‘extending our platform.’ By ‘extending the platform,’ we can expose various resources so a client’s system or application can communicate with GovDelivery via APIs.

This matters because our clients can save time/reduce staff resources by automating tasks when growing their audience, drive engagement, call-to-action messages, more informed citizens, eliminate errors, managing topics, and sending out alerts via email or SMS.

We are not alone with extending our platform. According to ProgrammableWeb, there are now more than that 15,000 APIs out there right now and growing on a daily basis.

The power of exposing resources via API is apparent for many organizations as well as GovDelivery. There are APIs for mapping, weather, search, photos, data, stocks, and music. According to an article by ReadWrite, 75 percent of Twitter’s traffic is done via API and 60 percent of all tweets come from a third-party app.

Granicus is processing more than 180,000 API requests per day and we are seeing this number growing as more clients use our APIs.

As the world continues to evolve, so does the way we serve our clients. Just imagine where we’ll be in another 15 years.

Are you a client of Granicus’s GovDelivery Communications Cloud and want to learn more about what APIs can do for your organization? Check out how you can integrate here: GovDelivery API Integration