WebHooks - What They Are And How To Use Them

Recently, online activities have become very much more event-based. These events are often triggered by WebHooks and a lot more online companies are beginning to make use them. Let's take a closer look at these useful applications.

What are WebHooks?

As an API concept, WebHooks continue to grow in popularity. But what are they exactly? WebHooks, sometimes called an HTTP push API or a web callback, allows apps to send out real-time information to other applications. This data is delivered instantaneously as certain events are triggered that call for its delivery. For example, WebHooks can be used to trigger automated app builds, messenger notifications or to update backups on a mirror site. The possibilities are endless.

How do they work?

WebHooks work a little like this. Imagine a third-party app or website (a WebHook provider) that, once a certain series of events occur, sends a specific signal to a unique URL linked to it (the listener). Once the listener receives the signal, it performs an action that has already been predetermined.

Examples of the uses of WebHooks

WebHooks are used all the time in cyberspace. Here are a few examples.

Shopify

Here, WebHooks are used by Shopify in a number of ways. They tell customers when the contents of their cart have been updated, when they have checked out, when they have paid, or if a refund request has been granted.

MailChimp

MailChimp uses WebHooks for user subscriptions, unsubscriptions and when they update their profiles.

Foursquare

Here, WebHooks are initiated to inform certain applications as soon as users check-in to the site.

GitHub

Using WebHooks, GitHub is able to update applications regarding repositories and any actions taken through them.

Why Make Use of Them?

WebHooks certainly are helpful and can be used in a number of ways.

First, they can handle text messages. For example, Twilo allows you to use a text message from your mobile phone to interact with applications.

Second, they can be used to handle emails. For example, WebHooks can be set up as triggers when emails are received from potential customers, providing them with a range of information that might convert them into paying customers.

These are just two examples. WebHooks can also be used respond to code changes, for handling payments and refunds in an online store, and for handling files or other documents.

If you are looking for a way to send out real-time information from apps to other apps in order to trigger events, WebHooks certainly are impressive and can do pretty much whatever you have in mind. Join the other big names in the industry already making use of these to enable your apps to do what you want.