What are communication APIs, different types, and why you need them



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Communication APIs pave the way for businesses to integrate communication solutions that provide advanced customer service, streamlined processes, and secured data exchange.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global telecom API market was worth USD 185.11 billion in 2022 and is estimated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.3% from 2023 to 2030 as companies are directing their interest towards cost-effective solutions.

A brief history of enterprise communications

For decades, enterprises across the globe depended on traditional telephone sets to manage their communication needs through a Public Switched Telephone Network aka PSTN. While this approach was rewarding and exceptionally reliable, it was not necessarily the most effective.

Fast forward to a few years later, and companies switched to Private Branch Exchange. This communication model helped to connect staff to countless extensions and leveraged phone conferencing capabilities.

Then emerged Voice over IP (VoIP) which disrupted the telecommunications industry with highly cost-effective global communication solutions.

However, in the fourth industrial revolution, digitally transformed businesses need more than voice. They need seamless access to complete collaboration tools, instant messaging, two-way SMS, number discovery, and more.

To achieve enterprise agility and seamless communication across a variety of channels, the Communication-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) model came into existence. This cloud-based approach is powered by Application-Programming Interfaces aka APIs.

What is an API?

An API can be described as a set of programming standards and instructions for web-based applications and tools. Whenever a leading software company releases an API to the public, it empowers developers to design products that are powered by its service.

An API can also be defined as a software-to-software interface that does not demand human intervention. Unlike front-end facing user interfaces, APIs function behind the scenes in the back end and are unseen.

APIs enable seamless integration with multiple tools. Thus, the end-user would not notice software functions being handed over from one platform to another.

What are Communications APIs?

Communication APIs establish a standardized syntax and methods of communication.

In other words, Communication APIs lay down the rules of possible interactions between servers and communication applications. They also function as the communication layer between applications and databases.

This approach helps enterprises access data securely and seamlessly while providing ways on how data should be formatted for rapid exchange.

For example, you can integrate Communication APIs into existing enterprise software. For the end-user, this means having complete control over multiple communication tools in one solution.

Enterprises that adopt this approach will benefit from enhanced productivity, streamlined workflows, and the ability to keep improving operations by leveraging data and analytics.

Some of the Communication APIs available today are as follows:

  • SMS and 2-way SMS APIs

  • Voice APIs

  • Push notification APIs

  • Social messaging channels APIs


SMS APIs can be integrated with diverse types of software. For example, businesses can embed it in their marketing platform to send large volumes of text messages to millions of users. They can also track the progress of their campaigns using real-time data analytics. This approach can be cost-effectively scaled up or down to meet changing needs.

Key advantages of implementing SMS APIs:

  • Broadcasting messages in the user’s preferred language

  • Ensuring that messages are delivered on intelligent primary routes

  • Leveraging live Home, Location, Register (HLR) lookup

  • Verifying the quality of delivery

For years, when businesses sent a text message to an individual, it was restricted to one-way communication (from the company to the person). From a marketing perspective, this is not always the most engaging method.

Two-Way SMS breaks down this barrier and helps brands engage in SMS conversations with their customers in real-time. To achieve this, companies have to obtain a long code or short code phone number that can be dedicated exclusively for this activity.

Like SMS APIs, Two-way SMS APIs also come with the benefit of broadcasting large volumes of text messages in the customer’s preferred language, the ability to scale up or down, and verification of the quality of delivery.

However, Two-way SMS can do much more. For instance, businesses can create dynamic automated responses that can be stimulated by a predefined set of keywords. They can also engage in opt-in tracking and leverage delivery reports to ascertain the success of each campaign.

Key benefits of Two-way SMS APIs:

  • Easy access to customers who have opted to receive SMS

  • Low cost with high conversion and ROI

  • Immediate direct message delivery

  • Seamless integration with CRM platforms

  • Scheduling and automating of marketing campaigns

Voice API

Voice API Is a smart solution that simply connects online applications with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) so businesses would be able to make and receive audio calls easily with a user-friendly API designed to ease the process.

It’s a lot cheaper because there aren’t any physical lines involved that need to be maintained. As a result, it’s considerably less expensive than your traditional phone service.

Key benefits of using Voice API:

  • Cost-effective

  • Boosts interaction and engagement

  • Provides users with a secure platform

Push notification API

Push notification API is one of the most engaging and impactful tools that helps businesses keep their customers constantly updated on the new promotions, updates, alerts, and reminders that lead to higher engagement and interactions.

Key benefits of Push notification API:

  • Higher user engagement as they are highly visible

  • Conversion rate increase since they can be used as reminders of incomplete orders or time-bound offers

  • Data-driven marketing decisions based on push notification analytics.

Social messaging channels APIs

Omnichannel communication is an approach that is adopted by many companies and businesses for handling communication efficiently via any channel their customers use, with a single smart interface, businesses can be in complete control of their customers’ experience.

Social messaging channels APIs allow businesses and customers to be engaged 24/7 which provides flexibility and unlimited support.

Key benefits of social messaging channels APIs:

  • Enhancing brand equity and exposure

  • Retaining existing customers and reaching potential ones

  • Data-driven and personalized communication based on insights and analytics

  • Boosting business growth

All of these Communication APIs can be integrated into a single existing solution, cost-effectively. When businesses adopt this approach, they can enjoy improved productivity, streamlined workflows, enhanced collaboration, and more.

The way forward

Unlike traditional communication solutions, communication APIs are quickly becoming the go-to technology for companies that want to take a DIY approach to effective engagement and communication.

With the abundance of communication APIs, it allows end-users to mix and match features to a single solution and adequately meet their business demands.


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