YouTube Data API Overview for Beginners

For one thing, Google of things has really revolutionalized its YouTube Data API Keys. With this in mind, allow me to take through on how to correctly and successfully implement the YouTube Data API.

For instance, when adding a YouTube video (which presumably uses a YouTube plugin or widget), the embed code provided by YouTube may have some accessibility errors.

And, for sure, that’s why Google YouTube Data API addresses this problem for website masters and owners. But, while embedding your YouTube videos on your website or blog, avoid using the title attribute.

Settings are generally found under the YouTube Free Plugin dashboard for WordPress built-in sites.

Here: What you need to know about the Title Attribute. Especially, while embedding YouTube videos.

YouTube Data API Overview
Getting started with YouTube Data API v3

API’s and User Interface Knowledge Base

For your understanding, it would be better to start with two different interfaces. Whereby, there are two kinds of interface, User Interface, and Application Programming Interface.

To simply put, User Interface (UI) is the interface for common users while Application Programming Interface (API) is the interface for programmers. It’s a common web page we encounter every day.

How do we use them? We can use them simply by clicking the picture or words. This is the level for the common people, the interface for users.

How could it be possible? That’s because the web developer hid all the codes required behind the button. And that is the interface for programmers where the codes and commands are living.

In other words,  you can think of API as a set of codes, protocols, and functions to work and interact with software applications.

With UI we work with simple buttons and tools while with API we work with predefined functions.

Equally, we can also say, API is the admin end on WordPress Dashboard and API is the user end on the complete page or post.

What is the YouTube Data API?

To enumerate, the YouTube Data API (Application Programming Interface), or the YouTube API, allows developers to access two key components.

For example, it allows access to video statistics and YouTube channels’ data via two types of calls, REST and XML-RPC.

Google describes the YouTube API Resources as “APIs and Tools that let you bring the YouTube experience to your webpage, application or device.”

The Players and Player APIs section identify ways you can let your users watch YouTube videos in your application. In addition, controlling the playback experience.

With an embedded YouTube player, you can integrate the YouTube video playback experience directly on your web page or application.

Furthermore, you can use player parameters to customize the player’s appearance.

YouTube Data API
Use Player APIs to control the player directly from your web page or app.

YouTube Data API and Other API’s Benefits

APIs can generate massive amounts of value both internally and eternally.

API Data Management

Managing and processing data is one of the crucial factors in business management, and every company has built IT systems.

As the size of the data is increasing exponentially, however, there is a limitation to cope with all the data through the traditional IT system.

In this sense, applying API can be a solution with better efficiency and security. It can break down barriers between systems, which enables simplifying work processes, inter-cooperation between organizations and higher protection of data.

External Merits are even Fancier

If a company open its API either publicly or with extra fees, it can provide new services and acquire potential customers to their side.

Customers can experience a higher level of services that weren’t available before.

By offering API services, third-party developers can build whole new kinds of products that even the companies had never thought of.

For example, Google Map, the most popular API among developers, wasn’t expected to draw that much effects at first.

By Applying those data to real estate and various other fields, developers brought much higher values and assets back to Google.

A Trend on the Rise

API now became a new kind of business models and strategies for companies to equip in the big data era. Then what’s so special? What makes API so hot these days?

Nowadays the number of API is continuously increasing, and this trend will be ongoing or even more.

Now we can say that the implementation and management of API of a company is one of the critical factors for its competitive and strategic values.

Getting Started with YouTube Data API

Before you start working on your YouTube Data API, there are several key elements to consider. And, even before you start, consider the following.

  1. You need a Google Account to access the Google API Console, request an API key, and register your application.
  2. Create a project in the Google Developers Console and obtain authorization credentials so your application can submit API requests.
  3. After creating your project, make sure the YouTube Data API is one of the services that your application is registered to use:
    1. Go to the API Console and select the project that you just registered.
    2. Visit the Enabled APIs page. In the list of APIs, make sure the status is ON for the YouTube Data API v3.
  4. If your application will use any API methods that require user authorization, read the authentication guide to learn how to implement OAuth 2.0 authorization.
  5. Select a client library to simplify your API implementation.
  6. Familiarize yourself with the core concepts of the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data format. JSON is a common, language-independent data format that provides a simple text representation of arbitrary data structures. For more information, see

Implementing YouTube Data API  

To work with API, you need to get an authorized key first. It’s for obtaining an authorized key to be connected with API.

API Providers, Youtube, in this case, don’t merely provide their service without control. To preserve this interface and manage the users, they offer a unique access key to each user.

With this, we can connect to the interface of the application. Just like we connect to electricity by plugging the power cord into an electric outlet.

Above all, we plug our server into the storage with this unique key. And from that point, we can use the data and protocols of API.

There are two different types of clients on the developer console, and the access methods are different for each case.

Therefore if you try to get the key by ‘web application’ and ask for Oauth from your local computer, you could meet the error message.

But to be specific, let’s consider the following.

Youtube Data API for Tubers

Google provides a large set of API’s for the developer to choose from.

Each and every service provided by Google has an associated API. Being one of them, Youtube Data API is very simple to use provides features like –

  • Search for videos
  • Handle videos like retrieve information about a video, insert a video, delete a video, etc.
  • Handle Subscriptions like lists all the subscriptions, insert or delete a subscription.
  • Retrieve information about comments like replies to a specific comment identified by a parent-Id etc.

Create New Project, Enable API and Create Credentials

In this step, we will create a project and will enable the API.

    • Go to Google Developers Console and click on Sign In in the upper rightmost corner of the page.
    • Sign In using the credentials of the valid Google Account. If you don’t have a Google account, set up an account first and then use the details to Sign In. In this case, on the Google Developers Homepage.
    • Now navigate to the Developer Dashboard and create a new Project.
    • Click on Enable API option.
    • In the search field, search for Youtube Data API and select the Youtube Data API option that comes in the drop-down list.

      YouTube Data API Interface
      Adding YouTube functionality to your Web or App
    • You will be redirected to a screen that says information about the Youtube Data API, along with two options: ENABLE and TRY API
    • Click on ENABLE option to get started with the API.
    • In the sidebar under APIs & Services, select Credentials.
    • In the Credentials tab, select the Create credentials drop-down list, and choose the API key.

There are two types of Credentials: 

API Key and OAuth

As an example, OAuth provides you with Client Id and a Secret Key in the form of a .json file.

But, OAuth is generally used where authorization is required like in the case of retrieving liked videos of a user.

So for the rest cases where authorization is not required like searching for the videos using a keyword or for searching for the related videos etc, we will be using API Key.


Google API client for python can be installed using simple pip command:

pip install --upgrade google-api-python-client

Part 1: Using YouTube’s Python API for Data Science

Summing Up,

Still hard for you? Then let’s suppose you are sitting in a restaurant. You want to have a nice beefsteak and a glass of red wine for your dinner.

You sit on the table and call.. who? The waiters! Then you get the menu and order what you want. After a few minutes later they will bring the dish. This is what API does.

You don’t need to roll up your sleeves and do all the stuff like preparing the ingredients, cutting the vegetables, and grilling the meat by yourself.

Waiters will do these steps for you, and all you have to do is just calling them and start your work from that stand.

Likewise when the developers are working with programming tools or when the data scientists are wrangling with data, they don’t write every single code every single time.

They use pre-made functions which are the sets of those basic codes operating under the hood.

For instance, when you want to join two data into one, you call the join function (a ‘join’ waiter) and order it to work as you command (ordering the menu).

Then it will return the required results (your dish).

Additional References;

  1. Implementing OAuth 2.0 Authorization
  2. More About YouTube API Keys – Wikipedia
  3. Cloud Computing & Technology Revised Guides
  4. Add YouTube functionality to your app
  5. What Is API and How To Use Youtube API
  6. 13 Technical Skills You Should Have As A Developer

Finally, if you did not get the first concept in written form, below is a step-by-step implementation guide.

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