What is the purpose of the authentication token in OAuth 2?

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In OAuth 2, the application server makes a request to the API server, and sends along its client_id and client_secret. The API server uses the client_secret to make sure the application is who it says it is (like a password). If the application is authorized to receive the data it requested, the API server will respond with that data.

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My understanding is that the API server also responds with an authentication token. Next time the App server wants to make a request of the API server, it could provide the authentication token instead of the client_id and client_secret, and the API server will know that the App server is authorized.

What is the advantage to this? I know the client_secret really needs to be kept secret. But so does the authentication token, right?

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