The simplest example of an API would be if you wanted to display a map of your business location on your website. Sure, you could just take a screenshot from google maps and be done with it. But what if your user wants more? They want to zoom in, zoom out, see if there is a coffee shop close by so they can grab a double espresso on their way to you. Then you would need to use an API, a Google Maps API in this instance. You now have the power of a third party API integration in your WordPress website. It was fast, reliable and great for your customer.
Another example would be if you wanted your user to signup on your website or create a profile. You could make them fill out a long form or you could give them the option of a social media login. Let’s use Facebook as an example. When they register on your website via this API, their data will be automatically synchronised with their Facebook profile, saving them the trouble of filling in the signup form.
One of the great benefits of using a third party API for WordPress 3rd party API integration is that you can provide data and services to your users without them having to leave your website. Purely data based API’s mean lower overhead due to the website not having to render additional resources such as large images.
If you had multiple platforms, this means your website and mobile app could retrieve data from a single source, eliminating duplicate data across multiple platforms.