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Webhook definition

A webhook is a custom callback implemented in a web page or a web application. It’s like a doorbell for a website: it notifies you when specific events happen — like someone visiting or leaving a comment. Instead of you having to constantly check, the information comes to you automatically as soon as the event happens.

Webhooks provide a way for applications to get real-time data updates and help integrate different services. For instance, you might use a webhook to connect a form on your website to a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. When someone submits the form, the webhook could automatically create a new lead in your CRM.

Webhooks usage

  • Communication and collaboration tools. Applications like Slack or Microsoft Teams can use webhooks to receive events from other systems. For instance, when a new issue is created in a project management tool like Jira, a webhook can automatically post a notification to a specific Slack channel.
  • E-commerce and payment gateways. Webhooks can notify your system when, for example, a customer completes a purchase, a refund is issued, or a recurring payment fails.
  • Email campaigns. Email marketing tools like Mailchimp or SendGrid use webhooks to track user behavior (clicks, opens, bounces, and unsubscribes). This data is then used for campaign analytics or to trigger additional workflows, like sending a follow-up email.
  • Social media. Platforms like Facebook or Instagram use webhooks to notify an application when a new post is made, when a user interaction (like, comment, etc.) occurs, or when a profile's details have been updated.