What is a News API?

What is a News API?

Today’s businesses are fueled by information. Data on market trends, industry news, competitors, and world events help company decision-makers stay better informed and make better decisions. Yet tracking all relevant news, and filtering out what’s not, is a daunting and frequently expensive task. Monitoring companies are in a race to generate timely and actionable data-driven insights.

This is where news APIs come in. A news API is the cornerstone that connects monitoring applications to online sources. In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into what a news API is and how it works in the real world.

Real-World Snapshot: Mention

What does a News API look like in the real world? For example, our client Mention is a world-leading monitoring company, providing tailored monitoring solutions to businesses worldwide. Mention’s goal is to make it easy to track social media, blogs, forums, and the web with up-to-the-minute latency – anytime and anywhere. To make this happen, Mention’s data integration team was seeking a scalable web data solution that would deliver comprehensive coverage, low latency access, and easy addition of new sources. They chose Webz.io to meet and exceed their coverage requirements without compromising on latency and to deliver data effectively and efficiently through their own service platform. You can learn more about Mention and Webz.io here.

What exactly IS a news API?

Let’s start by defining “API” – application programming interface. An API enables software to interact, exchanging information and data while enhancing functionality and automating tasks. 

A news API connects online news content and applications- allowing organizations and individuals to automatically scan, extract, analyze, and enrich data from online news sources, which is then used for a wide range of purposes.

News APIs collect and parse data from news websites, articles, and other web data sources. Powered by AI, they use advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to recognize categories, sentiments, topics, persons, dates, events, and other parameters. Then they tag the data with contextual meta-data and deliver it in a machine-readable format that existing software can use. This lets monitoring companies use data more efficiently – deriving actionable insights that help their customers decide, for example, to invest in a new company, discontinue working with an existing supplier, or run a new PR campaign in reaction to a new trend or backlash against a new product.

How can organizations use news APIs?

Organizations use news APIs in numerous ways.

The data created by a news API is especially critical for organizations whose business is influenced by ongoing geopolitical events, social streams, sports events, weather updates, stock reports, transportation news, and more. These organizations need a news API that can collect, extract and deliver data continuously from the web – so their own solutions can continuously transform this data into actionable insights.

Financial services organizations use news APIs to get ongoing news related to stock performance – discovering trends and facilitating predictive modeling. Combined with historical stock performance and earnings reports, this type of data can help investors reach untapped potential. Sometimes the connections between global events and stock prices or valuations are not immediately clear. Global crises, company scandals, elections, C-level turnover – these types of events can cause a stir in the stock market. A good news API automates the collection and analysis of news for financial companies and is critical when managing thousands of portfolios of hundreds of stocks.

As mentioned in the case study above – for media and web monitoring companies, a news API is the oxygen in the air they breathe. Media intelligence platforms analyze billions of online data points and synthesize insights about content performance, industry and social trends, and brand equity. Yet these platforms need to scan millions of stories from media platforms, blogs, and influencers – as well as looping in accurate readership, audience, sentiment, engagement, and other metadata. News APIs are also important for brand monitoring – enabling organizations to gain deeper insights into product and market analysis, the voice of the customer, and the competition. This is notably important in retail, where brands need to understand dynamic customer needs and keep track of the different options consumers have. 

Who else needs a News API?

  • Sales intelligence – Sales intelligence platforms predict which prospects are most likely to convert, identify the specific value propositions that prospects respond to, and help teams reach out directly to prospects at the point in time when are most likely to engage. Yet sales intelligence platforms are only as effective as the data they consume. Sales intelligence data collected by a cutting-edge news API delivers critical and objective context.
  • Regulatory compliance tracking and adverse media screening – Adverse media screening is a powerful addition to any compliance war chest, as well as a crucial element of Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Customer Due Diligence (CDD), Know Your Customer (KYC), Countering the Financing of Terror (CFT), and other regulatory compliance regimes. Yet adverse media screening solutions have trouble keeping track of the mass of data generated daily on customers and companies – raising the danger of missing key risk signals. Advanced News API platforms consume news data from millions of sources in tens of languages, then use NLP to distill the meaning and sentiment behind every article, story, and image. This data is structured and enriched to deliver better adverse media insights based on better data.
How can organizations use news APIs?

What kind of news API is right for you?

Companies looking to adopt a news API should consider the following questions before deciding: 

  • How much data and what kind of data do you need? What types of news sites do you want to cover, and will that coverage change in the future?
  • How does the data need to be structured to integrate into your existing infrastructure? Are there specific technical limitations that need to be taken into account?
  • How quickly do you intend to scale? How much more data and insights will you need tomorrow, and can the platform you choose support this?

Once you’ve answered these questions, there are two main types of news APIs you can choose from:

  • Enriched News API – An enriched news API offers a ready-made news feed with NLP-enriched data that can be quickly integrated into any application. More enriched data translates into faster detection of important events that affect stock value, brand, or product. 
  • Structured News API – A structured news API is a news data feed with comprehensive coverage of news articles from a large news repository with basic NLP enrichment. Learn more here.

What to look for in a news API?

A news API can never rest. There is new content posted every minute and client demands for data insights never stop. Make sure the news API you choose conforms to five key criteria: 

  • Comprehensive coverage – News sources should include multiple counties, in multiple languages. They should also encompass major global sites alongside smaller niche websites, and all these sources should be regularly and thoroughly crawled. 
  • Latency – A news API should deliver up-to-date data that’s noise-free and constantly gathered and updated by smart, adaptive web crawlers.
  • Quality – Sometimes news analysis involves reading between the headlines. A News API should be able to deliver insights and sentiment with full text, and also clean metadata that includes entities, sources, categories, author names, publication dates, and more.
  • History – To capture a true perspective, data needs to go back at least a decade – including historical data from news, blogs, online forums, and reviews from across the web.
  • Ethical – The dataset delivered by a news API should be created and updated via ethical crawling only. Your supplier needs to use a user agent and fixed IPs while complying with robots.txt to ensure that data is safe for business use. 

Need more help deciding? Check out our full guide for choosing a News API!

How Webz.io can help

Turning to news data collection experts helps minimize efforts and maximize results and insights! 

Our News API consumes news data from millions of sources in more than 170 languages from across the web. It also encompasses historical data dating back to 2008, and can optionally include mentions including blogs, forums, and review (e-commerce) sites. 

Webz.io’s advanced platform uses NLP to distill the meaning and sentiment behind every article, story, and image – in near real-time. This data is structured and enriched to make it quickly and easily readable by media intelligence platforms. The end result: better news insights based on better data.

To see how Webz.io can maximize news insights for your organization, talk to one of our experts today!

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