Circle.so (or Circle) combines user-friendliness with powerful community tools and is, without a doubt, one of the top online community platforms.
One such feature that helps it stay ahead of the competition is public API. Circle.so API allows developers to create custom applications and integrations with the platform.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at Circle’s API functionality and what APIs are available, as well as explore some use cases.
Ready? Let’s start.
What Is Circle API?
API is the acronym for application programming interface, a code that acts as an intermediary between two applications. When you send a request, let’s say to collect specific data, the API sends the request to a web server and brings back the data you requested.
You can do the same with the Circle API. You can use it to retrieve data from your community, perform specific actions inside it, or even build a custom app to extend its functionality.
You can use the API functionality to integrate virtually any software with your online community. Or you can use it to build custom functionalities that aren’t supported by the platform out of the box.
Now, Circle also has a Zapier integration, so you can also use it to connect your community with other apps. But keep in mind that Zapier only works for trigger → action kind of automation.
And while APIs also support triggers and actions, they allow you to retrieve data without triggers, as well, which makes them way more flexible and more suitable for complex tasks.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Circle API and what it offers.
How to Access Your API Token on Circle
Every time you send an API request to your Circle account, you need to validate that request. To do that, you need an API token, which is a code that contains user information.
You can think of it as a password that allows you to connect your Circle account with another service.
And you should approach API tokens as you would your passwords, meaning you shouldn’t give them to an unreliable source since it could expose your account and community members’ information.
To create an API token, head to your account settings by clicking on your community’s name in the top left corner of the screen and then select Settings from the drop-down menu. Next, click the API option under it.
In the upper right section of the screen, you’ll see the option to create a token. Click on the Create Token button, add a name, and that’s it!
Once you click Create, your token will appear in the list of available tokens. You can then copy it and share it with your developer.
Keep in mind that Circle’s API is available only on the Business and Enterprise plans, so if you’re on a lower-tier plan, you’ll have to upgrade it to access this functionality. Read this Circle pricing guide to learn more about the pricing plans.
Available Circle APIs
What you can do with a platform’s API functionality depends on the available API endpoints.
With Circle, you have over 20 different APIs you can use per your requirements. Furthermore, all the APIs are well documented, making it easier to understand how they work and how to use them.
To make the APIs less abstract, we’ll discuss a few of them in this section and explain what you can do with them:
- Members: The Members API allows you to retrieve information about a single user or a group of users in your community. The same API can also be used to invite new members, update existing members, or even remove them.
- Posts: With the Posts API, you can retrieve all posts from a particular space. You can also add new posts, and by passing parameters, you can enable or disable comments, set the status to Published or Draft, and even pin a post to a specified space.
- Comments: This Circle API allows you to see all user comments in a space or just those related to a single post. Besides that, the Comments API lets you add new comments and delete the old ones.
- Tagged Members: The APIs related to tagged members can help you easily find members with and without a member tag. You have the option to apply a specific tag to multiple members as well.
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions are another aspect of your Circle community that you can manage with API. Using the API, you can have a clear overview of all subscriptions and group them based on their status (active, canceled, free trial).
These are only some of the APIs available in Circle. Plus, we have only discussed what you can do with these APIs. You will see that each API has many parameters to control how it functions, and all of them are thoroughly explained on Circle’s website. You can see the complete list here.
Potential Use Cases of APIs
There are endless possibilities with Circle’s APIs, and we’re not even counting the basic actions (e.g., integrating your email provider) that can be easily achieved through the Zapier integration.
Considering this, we’ve created a list of practical examples of how you can use Circle’s APIs to extend your platform’s functionality and better manage your community.
1. Create an External Reporting Dashboard
Although Circle already has a reporting tool, you can use its APIs to retrieve all your community’s data and export it to a custom dashboard to track any metric. You can use respective APIs to pull data about community posts, comments, events, messages, etc.
2. Migrate Your Existing Community to Circle
There is no easy way to move from another community platform to Circle. While you can quickly move your members, transferring other data, such as posts, comments, and courses, will be tricky.
However, you can create a custom migration app using APIs to move all the data over to Circle.
For instance, you can use the Posts API to move all the existing community posts. Similarly, you can use the Post Likes API to create likes on those posts.
3. Display Course Curriculum on External Landing Pages
If your course landing page is built outside Circle, you won’t be able to display your course curriculum without manually replicating it. However, you can use the platform’s APIs, particularly Course Lessons and Course Sections APIs, to display your Circle course curriculum on an external website.
4. Duplicate Members From One Space to Another
Another excellent use case of Circle’s API is copying members from one space to another. You can use the platform’s Members and Space Members APIs for that.
Another way to achieve the same result (without APIs) is by using Circle Workflows, which lets you perform a bulk action to duplicate space members.
5. Create a Custom Leaderboard App
Circle currently doesn’t have a native leaderboards feature. As a workaround, you can export data at the end of the month in a spreadsheet and create a leaderboard outside Circle, which you can then embed into your community.
However, APIs can provide a more robust solution. For example, you can use the Comments and Post Likes APIs to retrieve data for your members’ activity and then use that to create a dynamic leaderboard.
Again, these are just some of the many things you can do with Circle’s APIs. We recommend exploring their official documentation to explore the full range of possibilities.
You should now clearly understand what’s possible with the Circle.so API. There are endless possibilities for what you can do with it, and we hope this article has given you some ideas to get started.
In most cases, you can use the Zapier integration and Circle Workflows to achieve your objectives. However, the APIs offer a powerful alternative for more complex (and custom) tasks.
And even if you don’t need the APIs now, it doesn’t hurt to know what you can do with them in case you ever need them.
If you’re not on Circle yet, you can sign up for a free trial to start using APIs.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and if you have any questions, leave us a comment below.