What is a Messaging API, and What Can it Do?

Posted on January 25, 2023

A messaging API is a way for businesses and organizations to communicate with their customers through mobile messaging protocols such as SMS or MMS. This type of API allows companies to automate and manage their messaging interactions in a more efficient way, enabling them to reach a wider audience and improve customer engagement. With an open rate of 98%, SMS messaging is a highly effective communication method.

With a messaging API, businesses can send and receive messages, manage contact lists, and track the performance of their messaging campaigns. This technology has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people use mobile devices as their primary means of communication. Let’s take a look at the technology in greater detail.

What Is a Messaging API?

A messaging API allows businesses to send and receive text messages through their own applications or systems. The API acts as a bridge between the business’s messaging platform and the mobile network, enabling the business to send and receive messages in real-time.

To use a messaging API, the business first needs to integrate the API into its own messaging platform or application. This typically involves writing code to specify how the API should interact with the business’s messaging system, such as how to format messages, handle responses, and manage contact lists.

Once the integration is complete, the business can use the API to send and receive messages through its own messaging platform. For example, they could use the API to automatically send a text message to a customer when they make a purchase on the business’s website or to send a notification to a group of customers about an upcoming sale.

The SMS messaging API handles all of the technical details of sending and receiving messages, including routing the messages through the mobile network and handling any errors or issues that may arise. This allows businesses to focus on creating engaging and effective messaging campaigns, without having to worry about the underlying technology.

The Types of Messaging APIs

Messaging APIs often come in two different flavors: SMS and MMS. These refer to the underlying protocol that the API uses to send messages to the recipient.


SMS (Short Message Service) messaging is a type of communication that allows users to send and receive text messages on their mobile devices. SMS messages are typically limited to 160 characters in length, and can be sent and received by any mobile phone that is connected to a cellular network. Many businesses use SMS messaging to send updates, notifications, and other information to their customers.

SMS messaging is a convenient and widely-used form of communication, as it is accessible on almost any mobile device and does not require an internet connection.


MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) is a messaging protocol that allows users to send and receive messages that contain multimedia content, such as images, videos, and audio files. MMS messages are similar to SMS messages, which are text-only messages, but MMS messages have the ability to include a wide range of multimedia content.

MMS messages are typically sent and received through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, using cellular data or WiFi. To send an MMS message, the user must have an MMS-enabled device and a data plan that supports MMS.

Related: Programmable SMS API – Everything You Need to Know

What Messaging APIs Offer Developers

SMS and MMS messaging APIs offer development teams several key benefits. These APIs provide a way for developers to easily integrate messaging functionality into their applications, without having to build and maintain the infrastructure required to send and receive messages. This can save time and resources, and allow developers to focus on creating engaging and effective messaging campaigns.

In addition, SMS and MMS messaging APIs often come with a range of features and functionalities that can help developers to manage and optimize their messaging interactions. These can include tools for managing contact lists, tracking the performance of messaging campaigns, and automating messaging processes. This can help developers to create more personalized and effective messaging experiences for their company or client’s users.

Freelance Development Teams

There are several reasons why a freelance developer might consider offering SMS and MMS messaging API services. These APIs are in high demand, as businesses and organizations increasingly look for ways to automate and manage their messaging interactions with customers. By offering SMS and MMS messaging API services, freelance developers can tap into this demand and provide valuable services to their clients.

Another key advantage of offering SMS and MMS messaging API services is the potential for recurring revenue. Many businesses and organizations use SMS and MMS messaging APIs on a regular basis, often as part of ongoing marketing and communication campaigns. By offering these services, a freelance developer can build a stable, recurring revenue stream.

In addition, SMS and MMS messaging APIs can be relatively easy to integrate into existing applications and systems, making them a valuable, time-saving offering for developers. These APIs often come with comprehensive documentation and support, making it easy for developers to get started and build their expertise in this area.

How Messaging APIs Benefit End Users

After seeing what a messaging API is, let’s take a look at why a business may want to use one. Messaging is primarily about communication, but communication often happens in disparate stages. Today’s companies rely on a number of software products for their communications needs, but without a messaging API to bridge the gap, mobile messaging doesn’t easily integrate with those technologies. By using a messaging API, end-users can receive the following benefits:

  • Improved communication – An SMS messaging API allows businesses to communicate with their customers in real-time, enabling them to provide timely information and updates. This can help improve the overall customer experience, as customers can quickly and easily get the information they need without having to wait for a response.
  • Increased convenience – With an SMS messaging API, businesses can automate and manage their messaging interactions, making it easier for customers to interact with them. For example, an API can be used to automatically send a confirmation text message when a customer makes a purchase, or to send reminders about upcoming appointments.
  • Enhanced security – An SMS messaging API can help to improve the security of messaging interactions by providing secure, encrypted communication channels and two-factor authentication. This can help protect both the business and the customer from potential security threats, such as hackers or unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • Greater flexibility – An SMS messaging API allows businesses to integrate their messaging capabilities into their existing systems and applications, giving them more flexibility and control over how they communicate with their customers. This can enable businesses to create more personalized and effective messaging campaigns tailored to the specific needs and preferences of their customers.

Related: How To Compare SMS API Pricing for Value and Savings

Typical Messaging API Functionality

SMS and MMS messaging APIs are powerful tools that enable businesses to automate and manage their messaging interactions with customers. Some of the most common features offered in these APIs include:

  • Toll-Free And Long-Code Messaging – SMS messaging APIs enable businesses to use toll-free and long-code numbers for their messaging campaigns. Toll-free numbers are numbers that start with 800, 888, 877, 866, or 855, and allow customers to send text messages to the business without incurring any charges. Long code numbers, on the other hand, are regular 10-digit phone numbers that businesses can use to receive and send text messages.
  • Easy Number Provisioning – Many SMS messaging APIs also provide tools and features that make it easy for businesses to provision and manage multiple virtual numbers. This can be especially useful for businesses that need to send and receive messages from multiple locations or departments or that want to use different numbers for different messaging campaigns. 
  • Delivery Records – Messaging APIs provide Mobile Device Receipts (MDRs) as a way for businesses to confirm that a text message has been delivered to the intended recipient’s mobile device. MDRs are an important feature of SMS messaging APIs, as they provide businesses with a way to track the performance of their messaging campaigns and ensure that messages are reaching their intended recipients. With an MDR, businesses can quickly and easily identify any potential issues with their messaging interactions, such as problems with delivery or issues with the recipient’s mobile device.
  • Redundancy – Timely and reliable delivery of messages is important to businesses. For that reason, messaging APIs often make use of redundancy to ensure that messages are delivered successfully and in a timely manner. This can involve using multiple SMS gateways or mobile networks to send messages so that if one gateway or network experiences an outage or other issue, the other gateways or networks can still deliver the messages.

Elevate Your Company’s Communications with the Right Messaging API

SMS messaging API services are a valuable and powerful tool for businesses that want to improve their communication and engagement with customers. These APIs provide a reliable and efficient way to send and receive messages, automate messaging processes, and manage contact lists. Getting the most benefit from a messaging API means choosing the right provider.

Flowroute’s reliability, breadth of features, and ease of integration meet the needs of both developers and companies, providing a ready-to-use API and fully featured resources for your messaging needs and beyond. Contact us today to get started with Flowroute’s communication tools.

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