Gaming becomes more social thanks to APIs

Gaming becomes more social thanks to APIs

Video games are a shared experience with friends not only in real life, but also in social media. In the virtual world it is almost as important to say what you are playing  as the game itself. The fields of gaming and social media have been intertwined in recent times, thanks to the help of APIs. Below in this article you can check some platforms that currently contribute to this union.

12 Feb. 2020

In the past, game programmers only had to worry about making their creations fun and entertaining for those who were playing them. Platforms at the time couldn't do any more: not being online and with a small number of polygons, playing video games was an individual experience or involved family and friends in houses and arcades all over the world.

That has all changed. Video games are now a social event, a shared experience with friends not only in real life, but also in social media. In the virtual world it is almost as important to say what you're playing and how as the game itself.

Therefore, and for some years, creators have begun to introduce a number of interconnections or links between their games, game consoles, and video and social platforms, so sharing adventures is as easy – literally –, as pushing a button.


The live video platform par excellence, bought by Amazon in 2014, is a pioneer in many aspects of video-game streaming. Twitch provides a fully-comprehensive set of APIs that major studios and independent developers can incorporate into their games.

• Video Upload API: allows you to upload videos recorded locally directly to Twitch and create live streaming tools. It works with traditional formats and codecs such as H264 for video and AAC for audio.

• PubSub: to create fast and continuous connection between both platforms to create messaging systems between contact, a viewer counter or indicate the status of the broadcast, for example.

• Drops: a tool set that supports you in granting in-game rewards to your gaming communities natively within the Twitch viewing experience. The creators of the video game define the rewards and the reward logic. For example, viewers can get upgrades for their own video games just by watching other players in Twitch.

Twitch goes further and works with developers so actual video games are adapted for audiences over the Internet, improving interfaces, trophies and recognition elements, inclusion and cooperation between players and viewers.

YouTube Live

YouTube also has its own API platform to broadcast live. It is a little more limited than Twitch's, but being able to broadcast within the giant YouTube audience is a good enough reason for any game developer to implement it.

Available methods also make live streaming, possible as well as implementing chats, and defining where ads can be displayed with the LiveCuepoints method. This is key as it forms a revenue base for many video creators on the platform.

For a large or independent development study, introducing these tools will make youtubers become ambassadors of a particular video game, make them known, extend their brand image and above all, increase interest and sales of the creations.

iOS Game Center

A new portable video game platform arrived with the iPhone that would soon revolutionize the world. Years later, Apple created Game Center, a system where social behavior of games can be incorporated.

With Game Center and its frameworks GameplayKit, ReplayKit and other tools, developers can create markers of results and achievements that will allow customers to compete with their friends and invite them to participate in the game.

At social level, through certain tools, you can share your best moments with the game in pictures and videos and so players can show their friends their most spectacular feats on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

Google Play Games Services

Like the above, Google Play, Google's app distribution platform for Android, has multiple APIs to make the gaming experience more immersive.

The methods are similar. Bookmarks, systems for handling multiplayer games, events through turns and campaigns are some of the things that Google Play Games Services facilitates, although it goes one step beyond this with a save game platform, plugins for the most popular development libraries and automatic translation of all of a game's text components.

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