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What is Video API and Why Might You Need One? What Type of API is Youtube

Some people cannot meet every other requirement when using online video platforms. This pushes them to build a customized video experience for...

Written by Niel Patel · 3 min read >
what is video api

Some people cannot meet every other requirement when using online video platforms. This pushes them to build a customized video experience for their web or application users. However, they might lack enough resources and time to create a new video platform from the ground up. What do they do?

Well, the good news is that Video APIs offer a better solution. If you would like to develop a video functionality for your services or applications, then a Video API might be all that you need. 

This is because Video APIs hide the complexity that comes with content distribution and processing, something that makes it easy for anyone to start adding videos to their applications even if they lack video expertise.

What is An API and Use of Video API

An API (Applications Programming Interface) can be defined as a set of instructions that allow applications to communicate and share data. They can also be seen as a set of methods used for performing tasks in a system or a service using code. They interact with software applications for them to accomplish these tasks.

APIs perform these tasks programmatically. They do not use a graphical user interface (GUI). This gives developers a lot of flexibility and unparalleled control when adding functionalities to their applications. In addition, it makes it easy for developers to customize their products and add external functionalities to meet their requirements.

What is a Video API?

A Video API is an applications programming interface – as defined above – that is designed to allow other applications to communicate with video streaming applications such as YouTube. They allow developers to among other things, integrate video content into their applications.

However, Video APIs are designed to support a variety of functionalities, ranging from the creation, control, and customization of workflows from encoding to playback. 

With this, developers can integrate videos into their applications, configure security requirements, process the video, manage assets, deliver content to their users, and gain access to the video analytics.

Even though modern video platforms have integrated a user interface to offer management capabilities, the level of customization and control they provide cannot match that provided by Video APIs.

This is because developers will be constrained to using predefined vendors and tools, making sure that they cannot access advanced configurations. For instance, you can only access the insight capabilities that come with your video platform.

Video APIs allow developers to add external functionalities and services into their applications, allowing them to get anything they want – from advanced analytics to integrating big data and IoT for a competitive advantage. They can even manipulate the way the analytics are presented.

Why Might You Need a Video API?

Be Ready for the Future

If you decide to build your video platform from scratch, will you build an application that is ready for the future? Well, you need to improve and maintain the application over time, adding more features and removing others.

The truth is that you need to ensure that it is updated all the time, especially when you are scaling your application and the number of your users grows. Setting up an app is expensive but can be avoided through the use of APIs.

As you grow, an API will grow and scale with you. You might even want to add new functionalities to your video platform over time, something that is very easy when using a Video API.

Lunch Quickly – Less Time to Market

Building a video platform from the ground up is a lot of work and is going to take up a lot of resources, money, and time. You will also need to save some more resources for debugging and testing.

Instead of doing all this, why not take what someone else has already done? With a Video API, you can launch your application within a shorter time. This allows you to figure out the market faster and give your competitors a run for their money.

APIs Let Different Software Components Interact

You might want your video application to interact with other applications and share content. For instance, let us assume that you are using videos from other applications or even getting content for your users from different software components. This would require a lot of work.

On the other hand, if you decide to use a Video API, you can simply do all this by adding an API integration and allowing your video application to interact with other components easily. This way, you can share data or content easily without worrying about the underlying code.

Real-Time Data

Data and video analytics are very important when it comes to video platforms. Imagine a situation where you are building a YouTube-like application, and you need functionalities to incorporate data analytics. This would take you a lot of time.

On the other hand, you can decide to use a Video API. You can even integrate this API with an analytics API. This way, all you need to do is decide the kind of metrics you want to generate from your application to enjoy the benefits of analytics.

In addition, it gets easier to get real-time data using APIs. With a Video API, you can easily get the data you need without a lot of issues. Building your video application might require a lot of modifications from time to time for you to get this.

Consistent User Experience

The users of your application expect a good and consistent user experience when using the app. For instance, let us assume that you are using a ready-made video application on your website to allow web visitors access to certain videos.

Well, this is not a bad thing. It works well for a lot of people. However, did you know that if anything changes, either on your website or the video app you are using, it is likely going to affect the experience of your users?

This means that for those who want to control their users’ experience as well as maintain a look and feel that will be appreciated by their users, a Video API is the best choice for them. An API can help those who prioritize the experience of their users.

APIs are Changing Software Development

APIs have changed how software developers build applications. Today, instead of building an application from scratch, software developers are using APIs to integrate different functionalities into their applications. So, instead of building your video platform from scratch, you should embrace using video APIs. This way, you stand to gain a lot as seen above.

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