Let’s face it: social media usage is a significant aspect of most of our lives. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 2.5 billion users around the world rely on the various popular social media networking platforms to facilitate their interaction and connectivity with family, friends, and other people.
Most of the social media platforms have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to enable developers to access their functionalities and integrate their features into applications.
We assessed several social media APIs based on the following four major criteria:
- API features: We looked at the distinguishing features found in each of the APIs.
- Popularity: We reviewed the popularity of each of the social media platforms. This will help you to determine the best platform to integrate into your application and maximize your engagement.
- Price: We assessed the cost of using each of the APIs.
- Ease of use: We examined the ease of implementing each of the APIs into an application.
Eventually, we came up with the following list of top 10 best social media APIs.
- Twitter API
- Facebook API
- Instagram API
- YouTube API
- LINE API
- Reddit API
- Snapchat API
- Pinterest API
- Tumblr API
- Viber API
TL;DR: Here’s a table summarizing our main findings.
1. Twitter API
Twitter is a popular social media service that allows users to find the latest world events and interact with other users using various types of messaging content (called tweets). Twitter can be accessed via its website interface, applications installed on mobile devices, or a short message service (SMS).
API features: Twitter provides various API endpoints for completing various tasks. For example, you can use the Search API to retrieve historical tweets, the Account Activity API to access account activities, the Direct Message API to send direct messages, Ads API to create advertisement campaigns, and Embed API to insert tweets on your web application.
Popularity: Twitter is a very popular social media networking service that can assist in enhancing the engagement of your application. At the end of 2018, it had more than 335 million monthly active users.
Price: Twitter provides its APIs for free. However, if you want a high level of access and reliability, you’ll need to contact them for paid API versions.
Ease of use: The Twitter APIs are very easy to use. Twitter provides comprehensive documentation to assist you in flawlessly integrating any of its APIs into your specific use case.
2. Facebook API
Facebook is a social networking platform that allows users to communicate using messages, photos, comments, videos, news, and other interactive content.
API features: Facebook provides various APIs and SDKs that allow developers to access its data and extend the capabilities of their applications. The Facebook Graph API is an HTTP-based API that provides the main way of accessing the platform’s data. With the API, you can query data, post images, access pages, create new stories, and carry out other tasks. Furthermore, the Facebook Marketing API allows you to create applications for automatically marketing your products and services on the platform.
Popularity: At the end of 2018, Facebook was boasting of more than 2.2 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular social media platform in the world.
Price: The Facebook APIs are provided for free.
Ease of use: Apart from its detailed documentation, Facebook has an active developer community with members who are always willing to assist each other make the most of the APIs.
Instagram is a Facebook-owned social networking platform that lets users share photos and videos.
API features: Facebook offers many APIs to allow developers to create tools that enhance users’ experience on the Instagram platform. With the APIs, you can enable users to share their favorite stories and daily highlights from your application to Instagram. Furthermore, there is the Instagram Graph API that allows developers to access the data of businesses operating Instagram accounts. With the Graph API, you can conveniently manage and publish media objects, discover other businesses, track mentions, analyze valuable metrics, moderate comments, and search hashtags.
Popularity: At the end of 2018, Instagram had more than 1 billion monthly active users.
Price: The APIs are offered for free.
Ease of use: The Instagram APIs are easy to use. Facebook has done good work in providing detailed documentation to assist developers in easily implementing the APIs into their applications.
4. YouTube API
YouTube is a Google-owned popular platform for sharing videos, music, and other visual images.
API features: The YouTube API lets developers embed YouTube functionalities into their websites and applications. You can use the API to enable users to play YouTube videos directly on your application, find YouTube content, manage playlists, upload videos, and complete other tasks. The API also allows you to analyze the performance of your videos, schedule live streaming broadcasts, and add the YouTube subscribe button.
Popularity: As of May 2018, YouTube was pulling more than 1.8 billion monthly users, making it the second most popular social media platform in the world.
Price: The API is offered for free.
Ease of use: Google has provided easy-to-follow developer documentation, guides, and code samples to make it easy adding YouTube features to your site or app.
5. LINE API
LINE is a social media service that lets users exchange videos, photos, audio, and text messages.
API features: LINE provides a wide range of APIs and SDKs you can use to access the LINE’s platform and build two-way communication capabilities between your app and LINE users. For example, the LINE Messaging API allows you to engage users in group chats, send push messages, access users’ profiles, and send images, videos, texts, or audio messages.
Popularity: As of October 2018, LINE had more than 200 million monthly active users globally. The social media platform is most popular in Asian countries such as Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Price: The LINE APIs are provided for free.
Ease of use: LINE has published in-depth documentation and other useful developer resources to facilitate fast and seamless integration of its APIs.
6. Reddit API
Reddit is a social website that allows users to access news stories, rate various types of web content, and engage in community discussions.
API features: The Reddit API enables developers to access the user submitted and rated content on the website. It provides endpoints for completing various actions, including getting the identity of users, listing the trending subreddits, adding emojis, moderating comments, submitting comments, replying to messages, and managing private messages.
Popularity: At the end of 2018, Reddit had more than 330 million monthly active users.
Price: The Reddit API is offered for free.
Ease of use: Reddit has provided robust documentation to make it easier to embed the API into your specific use case. Reddit also has an active developer community who can assist you to overcome any implementation challenges.
7. Snapchat API
Snapchat is a social media platform that allows users to exchange multimedia messages such as photos or short videos (called snaps). In contrast to other social media services, Snapchat’s messages are only available within a short time before they disappear from the platform’s feeds.
API features: Snapchat provides the Snapchat Marketing API that allows developers to build customized applications for automating the purchasing and targeting of advertisements on the platform. With the API, you can target users within a particular geographical location, create audiences with specific interests, and carry out other automated marketing campaigns.
Popularity: As of the second quarter of 2018, Snapchat had about 190 million daily active users globally.
Price: The Snapchat Marketing API is offered for free.
Ease of use: Snapchat provides helpful API documentation and code samples to enable developers to start embedding the API within minutes.
Pinterest is a social media platform that lets users share and discover online information, majorly in the form of images and videos (called pins). Users can post the media content to their own or others’ pinboards.
API features: The Pinterest API allows developers to access Pinterest’s data and boost the capabilities of their applications. With the API, you can access users’ boards, followers, pins, and other data. Furthermore, you can also add Pinterest buttons, widgets, or RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds to your application,
Popularity: As of October 2018, the platform was used by more than 250 million monthly active users.
Price: The API is offered for free.
Ease of use: Pinterest provides comprehensive documentation and other resources to make it easier implementing the API into your web or mobile application.
Tumblr is a widely used blogging and social networking service that lets users publish various types of content. Users can post “tumblelogs” or short-form blog posts and customize their pages to suit their preferences.
API features: The Tumblr API comes with several methods for completing various actions, including getting users’ information, following or unfollowing blogs, liking or unliking posts, retrieving the list blog posts, and editing or deleting posts.
Popularity: At the end of 2018, the platform hosted more than 450 million different blogs.
Price: The API is offered for free.
Ease of use: Tumblr has done great work in ensuring its API is functional and flexible enough to be embedded into any application. Apart from providing detailed documentation in the most popular programming languages, it also offers an extensive collection of useful developer resources.
10. Viber API
Viber is a cross-platform social networking service that allows users to communicate using text messages, calls, video recordings, and images.
API features: With the Viber API, you can tap into the company’s communication platform and create exciting interactive experiences. The API allows you to send different types of messages such as texts and pictures, receive messages, retrieve users’ details, post messages to public chat accounts, and many more.
Popularity: As of October 2018, it reported more than 260 million monthly active users worldwide.
Price: The API is offered for free.
Ease of use: The communication company offers easy-to-follow documentation that allows you to implement the API seamlessly and within minutes.
That’s Rakuten RapidAPI’s list of Top 10 Best Social Media APIs. We hope you’ll find an API that you can use to add versatile social engagement capabilities to your applications!
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