Image storage and manipulation are a big part of what most professionals have to deal with in their daily tasks. Whether you’re a graphic designer or a social media manager, at some point you have to interact with images and format them to suit your needs. Because of this, many tools have been created to make photo manipulation easier.
Depending on the tool, what could take hours or days, can be done in just a few minutes. We’ve come a long way in terms of what’s possible. New tools are popping up every day, but are they all worth it?
In this article, we’re going to look at one of the newest solutions for image processing and manipulation and see how it holds up against the competition.
Who Are the New Guys?
Upload.io was launched in 2020 and has been helping companies of various sizes add file upload functionality to their website or web app. They aim to make it easy for developers to make file uploads available on any website quickly and easily.
By creating the entire framework themselves, they take the strain off developers who have to create new code and infrastructure for every new website. Operating under a SaaS (Software as a Service) business model, they can provide file hosting, file storage, and file transformation functionality. In essence, they make it super simple for anyone to add these functionalities to their own website or software. They want to be the upload button for the internet, and they are surely on their way to it.
What’s an Application Programming Interface (API)?
APIs have been a godsend for most industries. They make it a lot easier to interact with software and web services in order to efficiently execute tasks. You can use Upload.io’s API to upload, crop, resize, host, and convert images. What makes it great is that these features are provided without any need for setup.
Uploading, Hosting, Transforming
Once the request is complete, the file is uploaded and hosted on their fast CDN (Content Delivery Network). From there, you can transform the image. You’ll be able to crop, resize, convert, and more. To protect your servers from a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack, transformations are created in the Upload Dashboard and are not parameterized in the URL.
This feature prevents attackers from running an unlimited number of transformations on the file, straining the processing power of your site and potentially exceeding your quota. This doesn’t stop you from executing transformations from the URL. Their real-time processing enables on-demand image transformations that are typically processed in less than a second.
Any transformation preserves the quality and integrity of the uploaded image. Elements like alpha transparency channels, ICC profiles, and color spaces are perfectly preserved by Upload’s image processing without any compromise. You can convert common file types such as JPG, WEBPG, RAW, HEICF, and many others. Regardless of how often or to what degree you resize or crop, the tool’s smart compression feature always aims to optimize the file in terms of file size and quality.
Extract Info That Matters
Each upload comes with valuable pieces of information. They may seem insignificant on their own, but once you compile them, they become incredibly useful. Being able to extract that information puts you in a position to make key decisions at the strategic level. These decisions could lead to new avenues for services or offerings, extending the functionality of your website, and transforming how you deliver value to your clients.
With this API, you’ll be able to extract metadata, keywords, and author information. Keywords give you an idea of the type of content that is being uploaded onto the site or the different purposes they serve. Exif metadata can be extracted to ascertain the details of the camera that took the picture and data on how the image was taken. All of this is retrieved by a parsable JSON that’s easy to use.
Control Uploads and Downloads
Allowing just about anyone to upload and download is fine in certain cases, but not always. If your website or app needs tighter protocols, Upload.io can make it possible to enforce those. You can authorize uploads and downloads and even adjust the accessibility on a per-user basis.
This gives you control where you need it most. The API also uses your app’s existing security layer to establish permissions. Bad actors are known for exploiting file upload services to attack websites. They may be able to upload malicious software onto your servers that cripple critical systems or steal user data.
Don’t assign privileges willy-nilly. Authenticate each upload or download or certain users so that you have a more secure website. This safeguards both you and your customers.
Track Your Metrics
Getting the stats for your business is not always easy to do. It’s either hard to retrieve, not tracked, or it’s presented in an incomprehensible way. By using Upload.io’s Image Upload API, you can easily monitor your bandwidth and storage usage. The information is presented clearly and simply so that you can glean a lot from just a single glance.
The API also reveals monthly and daily usage enabling you to identify trends and monitor traffic levels over time. You can see the busiest day of the week, the month with the most traffic, or the most active times of the year. You can then make decisions based on the data you have. This API has everything you need to make uploads not just functional, but also purposeful on an executive level.
The Beauty of APIs
For the uninitiated, you benefit from APIs every day. From ordering items on Amazon to getting food delivered to your door. These interfaces enable you to use payment portals on other business’ platforms so that you can get your product or food. APIs are in everything we do online. Once different programs have to communicate or share data, APIs are somewhere in the middle making it work. APIs become even more powerful when businesses use them.
One example is where a company might use it to facilitate transactions on an eCommerce platform and then have the factory ship the relevant product. But it doesn’t stop there. That same information could be sent over to big data programs for storage and analysis. The more information businesses can glean from transactions, the more they can refine their services.
Nowadays, everything is about data. Businesses are pivoting to data-driven strategies that use what they have to improve different aspects of their company. Massive gains can be seen in accuracy, speed, agility, and consistency. As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses need to be able to easily communicate with each other, thereby making transactions seamless for the users who rely on their services.
Most Notable Benefits of APIs
Re-inventing the wheel every time you need to go for a drive, would be the most efficient way to waste your time. The same goes for application development. If your team needs to utilize a function that already exists, having them spend time building it instead of using an existing API will cripple your productivity.
The competition is stiff so you have to move quickly. Solutions need to be created and deployed fast enough to reach customers at the right time and secure a good portion of the market share. Since these interfaces can be public, it’s open to anyone who wants to use it. This is a win-win for both parties. The business that made the interface extends their influence and the organization that’s using it can streamline their development.
Using our same wheel analogy, if you have to build something new every time, it will eat up a lot of your resources. You need to spend money to acquire the assets and secure the personnel to make the applications you need, instead of leveraging an already existing interface. The cost gets even wilder based on the complexity of the project, the expertise needed, and how long it’s going to take to complete.
Better Connectivity and Collaboration
Many years ago, the average business used a few different software to get things done. Most had no more than 5, and smaller entities had around 2 or 3. Now, businesses rely on an insane number of different software to keep things going. With so many different systems in place, there needs to be a way to connect them.
Businesses use API to share data between systems and software that execute separate functions yet play off each other. This is crucial to their overall operations. For example, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems bleed into market automation, and then that further funnels into financial services.
Customers are always on the lookout for something new. They get very excited over new services and products that solve their problems or meet their needs. As harsh as it sounds, if they can’t get that solution from you, they will gladly take it from your competitor. Customers are hungry for innovative companies, and it is only sensible to be as innovative as possible.
APIs make innovation a lot easier. By reducing the time you have to spend to develop something, you can devote more time to creativity and ingenuity. Many APIs enable you to do mundane things in novel ways and present them as something unique to your users. Several of them can be integrated via custom software so that they perform tasks or offer benefits that are not on the market.
The bottom line is APIs make it simple to be novel.
Improve Customer Experience
The customer’s experience makes or breaks a business. If your customers are finding it unnecessarily hard to do the simplest things, they’re going to leave your business. A negative user experience has a cascading effect. It never stops with just one customer as it can multiply via the reviews and feedback each customer shares.
Use APIs to partner with different entities that make it easy for customers to get what they want. Give customers the ability to personalize their own experience by giving them a public API that enables them to get what they want. This way they can tailor their own journey as they use your services. You can even deliver customized experiences by using AI to analyze user behavior and then suggest the next best action for each customer.
Any business that uses data is aware that it is digital gold. Being able to harvest and analyze customer data puts you in a prime position to reap incredible rewards. The only thing you would need to do is know how to mine value from that data. With the current level of analytics, you have the tools to do so.
You can give your data to 3rd party vendors to better understand how customers are using your products. With this insight, you’ll know what your target market wants, what to improve on, and what new thing to build to capitalize on opportunities.
There are a lot more benefits that can be realized by leveraging these interfaces. All it takes is the willingness to implement them and the insight to see what they are capable of. Upload.io is giving businesses and individuals access to functionalities that save them a lot of time and effort. Beyond being easy to implement, it’s also very accessible.
Their API can handle image uploads, transformations, and hosting – all. All without any setup. This out-the-box approach makes it very appealing to businesses that want to leverage the power of APIs. They’ll be able to extract data that they can use to model new solutions and identify usage trends to determine how much they need to scale.
This solution makes uploading, hosting, and downloading painless for businesses and users. Given all the utility it offers, they are indeed poised to become the upload button of the internet