Let me guess…
You have a website and want to add a chatbot to it. Or maybe you already have a bot on your website, but you want it to have additional features.
Either way, chatbot API is the answer to your worries.
By using API, you can integrate the bot into your web pages, add functionality to the software, and much more.
But what is it exactly, and how does it work?
And what are some of the intelligent chat APIs for your website?
Stick around to find out!
In this article:
- What a chatbot API is
- How does it work?
- Reviews of best chat APIs
- Benefits of using them
- How to integrate chat to your website using API
Do you want to find out more about chatbots and how to create effective bots for your site? Check out these articles:
- How to Create a Chatbot for Free [No Coding]
- Chatbot Design: Best Practices & 12 Insider Tips
- How to Write Chatbot Scripts [Examples, Samples + Tips]
Let’s start by clarifying that a chatbot is a computer software that can simulate a conversation with a human by sending automated messages in accordance with the user’s intent. Chatbots are widely used by companies to provide automated customer service.
What is a chatbot API?
Chatbot API is a collection of documents that allow users to connect their channels with chatbot software and add more functionality to the chatbot. It allows you to integrate the chatbot with your website, social media channels, and other messaging platforms.
Just like any API (application programming interface), a chatbot API acts as a bridge that enables the communication between different software.
Think of it this way—your site is extending its virtual hand, and so is the chat platform. When they connect their hands, they can push and pull data between each other. This connection is what an API in chatbots is.
Read more: Learn what a chatbot is and how to create a virtual assistant for your website. Also, discover the essential chatbot benefits and some top real-life bot use cases.
So, how does an API work in connecting a chatbot to your website?
How does a chatbot API work?
As you already know, chatbot API helps to link a channel to the bot software and increase the chatbot’s functionality.
Thanks to chatbot API you can also add features that the provider doesn’t offer out of the box. These could include setting up your own automations or connecting the data from your system to the chatbot.
For example, a user starts to interact with the bot on your website and asks a question about your pricing. This triggers the API to access the data from your website or another data source. In this way, the bot gets the relevant data and can compose a response for your user that would answer their question.
So, essentially, the API helps chatbots to get relevant data to perform specific tasks, like answering a visitor’s question, placing an order, or making a booking.
Read more: Find out how a store selling dog accessories doubled its sales with chatbots.
You may wonder—
Who are chatbot APIs for exactly?
Chatbot API is for people with some coding knowledge or companies that have a developer on-site. It’s best for those who want to connect their custom site to a chatbot platform or want to add some features to the bot.
Let’s have a look at the best chat API in a comparison table:
|Chatbot API||Rating||Free plan/trial||Best for|
|Tidio||4.7/5 ⭐️ (1,290+ reviews)||✅||Ecommerce businesses|
|Intercom||4.4/5 ⭐️ (2,400+ reviews)||❌||Large businesses|
|HubSpot||4.4/5 ⭐️ (1,480+ reviews)||✅||Platform’s ecosystem|
|Zendesk||4.3/5 ⭐️ (5,160+ reviews)||✅||Reports and analytics|
|Drift||4.3/5 ⭐️ (720+ reviews)||❌||Conversational AI|
|Wati||4.6/5 ⭐️ (150+ reviews)||Free trial||WhatsApp chatbot API|
|Ada||4.6/5 ⭐️ (140+ reviews)||❌||Access permissions for user types|
|ManyChat||4.6/5 ⭐️ (110+ reviews)||✅||Facebook Messenger chatbot API|
|ChatBot||4.5/5 ⭐️ (15+ reviews)||Free trial||Variety of integrations|
|IBM Watson Assistant||4.4/5 ⭐️ (215+ reviews)||✅||Voice recognition|
|DialogFlow||4.3/5 ⭐️ (50+ reviews)||Free trial||Developers|
|Google Chat||n/a||✅||Document sharing and collaboration|
Now more in depth—
Here are the best platforms with Python and Java chatbot APIs:
Ratings: 4.7/5 ⭐️ (1,300+ reviews)
Tidio is a customer communication and marketing software that offers conversational AI to help you grow your business. It uses deep learning and NLP technology to assist your shoppers and grow your sales. This chatbot API is easy to use so that you can connect your website and other platforms to the software in mere minutes. Moreover, if you’re using a content management system (CMS) such as Shopify or WordPress, Tidio offers seamless integrations for you as well.
And before you start pointing fingers and saying that this is just an ad for our software—we are not here to gloat about how great we are!
- Drag and drop visual chatbot builder
- Over 16 different triggers for bots
- More than 37 ready-to-use chatbot templates
- NLP chatbots
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots
- Chatbot analytics and insights
- Free version available
- Communicator ($19/mo/operator)
- Chatbots ($39/mo)
- Tidio+ (starting from $289/mo)
Learn how Tidio API works and what the available APIs are.
Ratings: 4.4/5 ⭐️ (2,400+ reviews)
The Intercom chatbot API helps you link the chat box with your website and other platforms. It comes with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, a suite of marketing tools, and sales features. You can use Intercom chatbots for marketing your products and managing your customer support. It’s fully customizable and flexible while helping to improve customer experience and boost sales from your channels.
- Dashboards for workflow monitoring and reporting
- Many built-in integrations with Slack, Pipedrive, HubSpot, and more
- Collision detection for customer service queries
- Steep learning curve
- Relatively expensive
- Contact sales for demo and pricing
Learn how to use the Intercom REST API for your needs.
Did you know that …
A study shows that chatbots can resolve over 87% of customer issues.
Ratings: 4.4/5 ⭐️ (1,485+ reviews)
If you are looking to help your marketing team and improve your lead generation, HubSpot is worth your consideration. It offers a shared inbox for customer communication, seamless integration with all the HubSpot services, and an advanced CRM with a ticketing system. You can easily navigate the interface and build customer databases. The HubSpot chatbot API lets you add bots to your channels that can send automatic welcome messages, answer common questions, and automate some of your repetitive tasks.
- APIs and SDK available
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Calendar bookings
- Lack of onboarding materials except FAQs, forums, and customer support
- No tagging system
- Free version available
- Starter ($50/mo)
- Professional ($500/mo)
- Enterprise (Starts at $1,200/mo)
Check out the full HubSpot API documentation.
Ratings: 4.3/5 ⭐️ (5,160+ reviews)
This AI API offers pre-chat surveys, team collaboration, and ticket routing for better organization of your system. It also provides a mobile app that you can use to monitor, manage, and reply to your website visitors on the go. Zendesk no-code bots help you decrease response time and improve agent collaboration with the agent-to-agent chat feature. You can use this website chat API to scale your business with chatbots on your ecommerce website, social media, and other channels.
- Over 20 ready-to-use reports and dashboards for analytics
- More than 700 integrations, such as Salesforce, Freshbooks, Atlassian, etc
- Knowledge base, FAQs, and chatbots available
- Reviewers state issues with the ticketing system
- Some data transfer issues
- Free trial available
- Suite Team ($49/agent/mo)
- Suite Growth ($79/agent/mo)
- Suite Professional ($99/agent/mo)
Find out more about Zendesk chat API reference and capabilities.
Ratings: 4.3/5 ⭐️ (720 reviews)
Thanks to conversational API, you can seamlessly add this advanced tool to your website. Drift is a chatbot software company that offers a variety of features like live chat, bots, video chat, email marketing tools, and SMS messaging. It also helps you automate your campaigns with a variety of triggers, such as churn prevention and customer onboarding. You can also record and share personalized videos, schedule meetings, and track your views or conversions. All from one platform!
- Live view of website visitors’ activities
- Ready-to-use chatbot workflows for a variety of scenarios
- AI virtual selling assistants
- Limited features for image-based welcome messages
- The backend user interface can be confusing at the beginning
- Contact sales for pricing
Learn how to use Drift API for your needs.
Didi you know that …
Ratings: 4.6/5 ⭐️ (150+ reviews)
This is one of the best chatbot WhatsApp APIs on the market. It helps you personalize your customer service and ensure a better shopping experience for your clients. Wati is an official WhatsApp Businees API chatbot partner, which makes the integration between the platforms seamless for all users. You can monitor performance, get data-driven insights, and make better business decisions in the future. It also provides a set schedule and availability hours for your business, so clients can set meetings and know what times they can contact you.
- Monitoring of performance available
- Official integrations with WhatsApp Business
- Shared inbox for customer messages
- The layout design is not very intuitive
- Lacks flow duplication functionality
- Free trial available
- Standard ($49/mo)
- Professional ($98/mo)
Discover all the available WATI APIs and how to use them.
Ratings: 4.6/5 ⭐️ (140+ reviews)
Ada is an AI virtual assistant that helps businesses automate personalized customer communication. It offers an easy-to-use chatbot builder and a variety of real-life scenarios to show you how the bot would handle different customer service questions. This AI chatbot API lets you build complex conversation flows and a support team ready to help you whenever you need assistance. It also easily integrates with social media channels, other customer service software, and APIs.
- A/B testing available
- User types for access to various settings
- Collection and storage of customer data
- Can be difficult to set up staging and testing environments
- Limited analytics and reporting capabilities
- Contact sales for a quote
Find out more about Ada APIs and its documentation.
Ratings: 4.6/5 ⭐️ (110+ reviews)
This is a Facebook Chat API for customer communication on your social media channels. It’s primarily made for Facebook Messenger, however, you can also Implement Instagram and WhatsApp chatbots, WhatsApp, and use it for SMS messaging. You can build chatbots for customer service, chatbot marketing, taking orders, and scheduling appointments. This free chatbot API also has a mobile app that you can use to build better customer relationships.
- Customer segmentation
- Useful onboarding materials
- Order confirmation and fulfillment updates available
- Only available for social media and WhatsApp
- Not possible to set up event tracking even through Zapier
- Free plan available
- Pro ($15/mo)
- Premium → contact sales
Check out the available APIs for ManyChat.
Did you know that …
Ratings: 4.5/5 ⭐️ (15+ reviews)
ChatBot lets you communicate with end users using AI-powered bots and natural language understanding (NLU) to improve their user experience. You can automate a variety of tasks, such as greeting visitors, providing information, and collecting shoppers’ data. These chatbots API helps you make bots, implement them, and track performance results. It also offers a drag-and-drop builder to create chatbots from scratch easily or using templates.
- AI chatbots available
- Advanced analytics
- Various integrations, including Facebook Messenger, Slack, and CMS systems
- No mobile chatbot applications available
- Only one language available for communicating with the chatbots
- 14-day free trial
- Starter ($65/mo)
- Team ($169/mo)
- Business ($499/mo)
- Enterprise → contact sales team
Find out more about ChatBot API and its documentation.
Ratings: 4.4/5 ⭐️ (215+ reviews)
This open-source chat API offers a cloud-based natural language processing service. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide a chat widget for your website and communication channels. It requires a little technical knowledge about programming languages and the system to operate this platform, but you can create anything you need on it. This includes self-service bots as well as powerful conversational AI systems that use voice recognition.
- Various intents supported, from simple FAQ bots to powerful conversational AI with speech recognition
- Customizable chat icon and widget
- Onboarding resources available
- The system is too complex for smaller businesses
- May require integration with additional tools such as the IBM Watson Language Translator
- Free plan available
- Plus ($140/mo)
- Enterprise → contact sales
Check out the IBM Watson Assistant documentation and APIs.
Ratings: 4.3/5 ⭐️ (50+ reviews)
DialogFlow is a Google chatbot AI that offers a visual flow builder. It helps to reduce the chatbot development time for your team as they’ll see the changes in real-time. It also includes the latest BERT-based natural language understanding, to ensure your customers receive accurate information and efficient support even in the more complex cases. You can also use this Google AI chatbot for apps, IoT devices, as well as your website and messaging platforms.
- Google AI voice recognition
- Over 30 languages and variants available
- Large community on forums
- Difficult to customize and use without coding knowledge
- Not a stand-alone product
- Free trial available
- Text ($0.007/request)
- Audio input/output ($0.06/minute)
Check out DialogFlow reference and documentation.
Also, check out this video on how to build Telegram chatbots using DialogFlow’s API.AI integration:
12. Google chat
Good news for those who are Google Workspace customers! Google chat API is part of Google Workspace that comes at no additional charge. It helps to simplify group collaborations and private messaging. How? This free chat API lets you share files, tasks, and use shared chats. You can also use a powerful, filterable search to find an email thread or specific chat quicker. Google Chat is also available directly in Gmail or as an app.
- Seamless integration between apps within Google Workspace
- Document sharing and collaboration on files available
- Rules assignment based on Google domains
- Private messaging between team members not available
- Some reviewers say that the panel can appear cluttered at times
- Free for individual users
- Business Starter ($6/user/month)
- Business Standard ($12/user/mo)
- Business Plus ($18/user/mo)
- Enterprise → contact sales
Learn more about Google chat API and other reference.
Read more: Learn how to use JSON API to build chatbots on your site.
Let’s start this by saying that this is not a business-oriented chatbot. Cleverbot is a conversational app for everyday use and fun experiments. It’s designed mostly for Apple devices. Keep in mind that the bot uses machine learning to evolve with every human interaction. So, when you message the chatbot, it selects one of the previously entered phrases from its database to respond. This means that the Cleverbot responses can be strange (and even inappropriate sometimes).
- Sharing conversations via email and social media available
- Responses based on previous interactions
- Ability to stop and start conversations whenever you like
- Can be inappropriate
- Only available online
- API 10K ($10/mo)
- API 15K ($20 top-up)
- API 20K ($20/mo)
- API 35K ($40 top-up)
- API 50K ($50/mo)
- API 75K ($80 top-up)
- API 100K ($100/mo)
- API 250K ($200/mo)
- API 500K ($300/mo)
- API 500K ($400 top-up)
Discover more about Cleverbot API.
A few other honorable mentions include:
Benefits of using chatbot API
Coding webhooks and chatbot features by yourself is time-consuming and costly. On the flip side, you can link your website data to the platform seamlessly when using APIs. Let’s look at the top three benefits of using chat API for websites.
In comparison to coding a chatbot or adding features by yourself, using a chatbot API is:
Trying to code the chatbot into your website, tweak its functionality or add any features by yourself would take a lot of trial and error, even if you’re an experienced programmer. Using chatbot APIs, on the other hand, is fast and efficient. You just need to find the right code on the platforms’ documentation page, copy it, do any small customizations, and paste it into your website’s code. That’s it—a few minutes of work, and it’s done!
Coming back to our point about using AI API being faster than doing the coding yourself—it’s also cheaper. The online chatbot API comes at no extra charge and only requires a bit of coding knowledge to use it. This way, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on your programmers’ time, just to make the chatbot work for your website.
Chatbots are as safe as they make them. if you use the chatbot API accordingly, it’s a fairly safe way of installing a customized chatbot to your website. The developers of the software know it best and tested the code many times to ensure it works correctly, and it’s secure to use. So, to keep your chatbot’s code safe, utilize the code snippets instead of trying to make the changes yourself.
Keep in mind that you can use chatbots API for any website, whether it’s custom-made or based on a content management system (CMS) like Shopify or WordPress. It also doesn’t matter if you use a chatbot platform or a chatbot framework, as both should offer API documentation that you can utilize.
Read more: Check out some examples of how you can use chatbots for your business.
Moving on—how to make a chatbot from API?
Integrate chatbots to your website using API
We’ll be using Tidio chatbot API to add live chat with chatbot functionality to your custom website.
Now, you might be thinking—How do I use chatbot API?
It’s a very easy and straightforward process. Just follow the steps below.
- First of all—sign up for a completely free account. You don’t have to provide any card details, just your email address and a password.
- Customize your chat widget. The widget will appear on your site, but you can always change and personalize it further later on.
- Copy the snippet and paste it into your website’s backend or your node.js platform. And it’s done!
Also, check out this full tutorial on how to install Tidio on your website.
Chatbot API: Summary
You can configure the chatbot to your business needs and set notifications for specific events. Some of the chat APIs will even let you use the authentication to allow access depending on the user type.
The best chatbot APIs are:
- IBM Watson Assistant
- Google chat
Remember to check if the programming language matches your site and if the platform offers all the features your business requires before deciding to use one over the others.