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Snapchat announced Tuesday it's opening up its automated API platform to all advertising partners, not just a handful of high-level test partners, like Unilever and Gatorade.

What's an API? An API, short for application programming interface, is a set of rules or standards that govern how applications can communicate, or share data. For example, your computer uses an API to transfer different formats of data when you cut and paste text from email into a Word document.

How does Snap's API work? Snap's API, called Snapchat Partners, connects technology and data partners to expand the range of data-targeting options advertisers can use to reach custom audiences. It also allows media buyers to purchase ads at scale through a streamlined process that optimizes creative content in real time. Today Snapchat announced it was adding 16 new agencies and vendors to its API platform to expand its capabilities. They are also adding a new feature, called Ads Partner Licensing, a self-service tool that lets brands use API partners' software in-house, to give them more control of ad campaigns.

Why it matters: Ahead of their IPO, Snapchat executives have been touting their ability to monetize their highly-engaged audience through different advertising features. According to AdWeek, we should expect to see case studies from four months of test partner campaigns in coming weeks. Revealing test campaign results from their API platform just before their highly-anticipated IPO means we can expect good results.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.