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What Is An API?

If you have a sneaking suspicion that APIs are something you should know about in 2019, you’re onto something! In 2019, APIs are more important than ever, and their prominence in the programming world is only growing. But what exactly is an API?

What is an API?

An API, short for application programming interface, is what a website uses to grab information from a particular database. It’s how a certain site is able to show the latest Instagram photos, Tweets, and weather report all on the same home page, for example. 

We put together a quick visual to explain the basics of how an API works.

Take a closer look at an API:

If you want to create your own API…

There’s no shortage of great data out there, and certainly no shortage of websites eager to display it—build them an API, and everybody wins! You can learn this highly marketable skill through our Full Stack Javascript Techdegree, which gives you unlimited access to courses, workshops, and community support. Try a free seven day trial to see if Javascript is right for you!

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