API Growth Doubles in 2010, Social and Mobile Are Trends

Adam DuVander, January 3rd, 2011

ProgrammableWebWas 2010 the year of the API? Some have claimed this each of the last five years, with the next always eclipsing the previous. There were 1,019 new APIs added to our API directory in 2010, two times the number added in 2009. Greater trends on the web are being played out, as social APIs were the most popular and the influence of mobile is clear.

As the API timeline shows, we now list 2,647 APIs in our directory. That dwarfs the 105 from 2005 and even makes the total from 2008 look tiny. Sheer numbers don’t mean much if there isn’t substance within, so let’s look at the most popular types of APIs from the past year.

Top 5 Types of APIs in 2010

FacebookSocial APIs were by far the most common type. We can’t discuss social without mentioning Facebook, which made sweeping changes to its platform, launching the Facebook Graph API. With proper user permissions, this API makes a user’s data–including friends and photos–available outside of Facebook.

Twitter is also greatly responsible for many of the new social APIs. In April we wrote about how Twitter gave birth to 43 new APIs. There are now 67 Twitter-derived APIs. Some of these are meant for analysis, but the bulk of them are social.

Bit.lyInternet APIs may seem like a strange categorization at first. Everything in our directory is on the internet? When we refer to internet APIs, we mean the glue that holds the web together. This includes big platforms like cloud hosting services Google App Engine and Amazon EC2. But it also includes 25 URL shortener APIs and 5 domain registration APIs.

Google MapsMapping and Mobile APIs were both popular for the same reason: location came to the web in 2010 in a big way. From check-in apps to geographic databases, where a user is (or wants to be) is becoming more important because the internet is now going with many of these users. Mapping has always been a popular category, especially for mashups. The 2,150 Google Maps mashups are almost four times as many as the second place API in our list of popular APIs by mashups. With mobile becoming such a major factor, we’ve seen these APIs move away from displaying maps. Now they include 22 geocoding APIs, 22 geolocation APIs and even 12 GPS APIs for storing and sharing where you go.

Google Ajax SearchSearch APIs, like the internet APIs, help hold the web together. Some of these APIs, like the popular Google Ajax Search API, search the whole web. However, in 2010 we saw many cases of vertical search engines making their data available. For example, the novo|seek API opens up a biomedical search engine. The RescueGroups API makes pets available from animal rescues and shelters searchable by organization or location. Each of those is fairly specific, but the overlying trend is making data available in a way that’s easy for developers to integrate.

Top 5 APIs by Mashups

In 2010 there were 907 new mashups added to our mashup directory. From there, we can determine the popular APIs used. The one at the top of the list won’t be a surprise, but how about the others?

As we enter 2011, we expect to see many more APIs. Some might even call it the year of the API. As you’ve seen above, perhaps more interesting than big numbers are the trends within those numbers. For 2010 it was social, mobile and the glue that holds the web together. Do you think the same areas will continue to grow in 2011? What new trends will show up?

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37 Responses to “API Growth Doubles in 2010, Social and Mobile Are Trends”

January 3rd, 2011
at 1:50 pm
Comment by: Fish Where the Developers Are (2011 Digital Trends Part I) | 香港新媒體協會

[...] you need a starting point, follow developer API trends – and how they’re being adopted. According to Programmable Web, the top five types of APIs in 2010: social, Internet, mapping, search and mobile. Some of these [...]

January 3rd, 2011
at 9:15 pm
Comment by: 2010 - эпоха API для социальных сетей и мобильных телефонов | Международная блогопанорама

[...] в Одессе.) К тому же, эксперты говорят, что будущее – за социальными и мобильными сервисами. Я бы даже назвала это социально-мобильными сервисами, [...]

January 4th, 2011
at 5:08 am
Comment by: API Growth Doubles in 2010, Social and Mobile Are Trends (Adam DuVander/ProgrammableWeb) | BuyElectro.com

[...] DuVander / ProgrammableWeb: API Growth Doubles in 2010, Social and Mobile Are Trends  —  Was 2010 the year of the API?  Some have claimed this each of the last [...]

January 4th, 2011
at 9:57 pm
Comment by: Turn Gets $20 Million; Rubicon Says Data Shows Ad Spend Stability; Google Likes Like

[...] are being played out, as social APIs were the most popular and the influence of mobile is clear, writes Adam DuVander, PW’s Executive Editor. With all the growth in API’s, that means there’s even more data out [...]

January 6th, 2011
at 12:01 pm
Comment by: Weekly Poll: New APIs Doubled in 2010 So What Does That Mean for the Year Ahead? | 香港新媒體協會

[...] week, Programmable Web did its review of the past year. Here are some of their [...]

January 6th, 2011
at 12:21 pm
Comment by: Weekly Poll: New APIs Doubled in 2010 So What Does That Mean for the Year Ahead? | HTML5 CSS3 Tutorials

[...] week, Programmable Web did its review of the past year. Here are some of their [...]

January 6th, 2011
at 1:32 pm
Comment by: Weekly Poll: New APIs Doubled in 2010 So What Does That Mean for the Year Ahead? Cambodia Phone Market News | Cambodia Phone Market News

[...] week, Programmable Web did its review of the past year. Here are some of their [...]

January 7th, 2011
at 12:01 am
Comment by: 100 Twilio Mashups: at Look at Three with Funding

[...] to the ProgrammableWeb directory. The tremendous interest in the Twilio platform put it in the top five APIs of 2010 by mashup count. In this post, we’ll look at three Twilio applications that have recently [...]

January 8th, 2011
at 1:00 pm
Comment by: Top Searches Will Be Influenced By Changes in Search Habits, APIs | Miley Cyrus

[...] be a huge factor in the way people do their searches. According to Programmable Web, which runs an API Directory and a MashUp directory, API [...]

January 10th, 2011
at 11:06 am
Comment by: Gazing into the Crystal Ball: GigaOm on APIs in 2011

[...] kicked off 2011 with our report on API growth. We list more than 2600+ APIs in our directory, with social and mobile APIs seeing major growth. [...]

January 11th, 2011
at 8:42 am
Comment by: Google Adds API For URL Shortener and Link Analytics

[...] API report for 2010 listed 25 URL Shorteners in our directory (there are now 28 URL shorteners). One of the better [...]

January 11th, 2011
at 1:27 pm
Comment by: Looking into our crystal ball: Our Predictions for 2011 | Appbistro

[...] to ProgrammableWeb, the API growth doubled in 2010. With the increase of APIs, the need for developers to build on top of those will continue to grow. [...]

January 12th, 2011
at 12:01 am
Comment by: Facebook’s Big Year: A Whole New Approach to its API, New Types of User Data, and Major Deprecations

[...] a more open community. The leading social network site must be doing something right on that front. Facebook was the third most popular service for use in new mashups last year, nearly doubling its total number in our [...]

January 12th, 2011
at 11:57 am
Comment by: Facebook’s Big Year: A Whole New Approach to its API, New Types of User Data, and Major Deprecations | Another Newyork Times

[...] a more open community. The leading social network site must be doing something right on that front. Facebook was the third most popular service for use in new mashups last year, nearly doubling its total number in our [...]

January 22nd, 2011
at 8:17 am
Comment by: cape town photographer

Facebook & Twitter API developement is seeing a major boost. With due cause as these are fast becoming the place to be and be seen

January 26th, 2011
at 7:39 pm
Comment by: My Blog » Fish Where the Developers Are (2011 Digital Trends Part I)

[...] you need a starting point, follow developer API trends – and how they’re being adopted. According to Programmable Web, the top five types of APIs in 2010: social, Internet, mapping, search and mobile. Some of these [...]

February 1st, 2011
at 12:01 am
Comment by: Hey Mobile, Thanks for All the APIs

[...] are a number of factors coming together to fuel the growth of APIs. Without a doubt, one is the corresponding growth of mobile devices and the distribution of [...]

February 1st, 2011
at 8:35 am
Comment by: How APIs Are Changing The Way Brands Connect With Consumers : RIA Journal

[...] marketers take notice. In 2010 there were 2,647 publically accessible APIs according to the Programmable Web. In fact, more than a thousand APIs were created last year – more than double the number of APIs [...]

February 1st, 2011
at 3:58 pm
Comment by: Hey Mobile, Thanks for All the APIs | Another Newyork Times

[...] are a number of factors coming together to fuel the growth of APIs. Without a doubt, one is the corresponding growth of mobile devices and the distribution of [...]

February 4th, 2011
at 3:23 pm
Comment by: Launch Region Specific APIs | API Evangelist

[...] the increase growth in API usage in 2010, and expected growth in 2011, the need for high availability APIs will increase. One way to [...]

March 8th, 2011
at 12:01 am
Comment by: 3,000 Web APIs: Trends From a Quickly Growing Directory

[...] you consider there were only 105 listed at the end of 2005. As we’ve noted previously, the growth rate of APIs doubled, which led to an influx of new services. Below are some of the trends we’ve spotted as the [...]

March 11th, 2011
at 10:41 pm
Comment by: Api 2010 | AllGraphicsOnline.com

[...] As the API timeline shows, blog.programmableweb.com [...]

March 25th, 2011
at 6:27 am
Comment by: eBridge Blog » API’s: The Key to Software Success

[...] the past few years. Programmableweb.com who maintain a directory of API’s, are reporting that API Growth Doubled in 2010 over 2009 with social and mobile being the hot [...]

May 25th, 2011
at 12:01 am
Comment by: Who Belongs to the API Billionaires Club?

[...] write a lot about the growth in the number of APIs on ProgrammableWeb. But how about usage? Some APIs see so many requests that they measure in [...]

June 2nd, 2011
at 2:47 pm
Comment by: i-penny

[...] doubt, we have seen phenomenal growth in APIs in the last year, as APIs are quickly becoming the most powerful way to access data and [...]

June 2nd, 2011
at 2:48 pm
Comment by: Mashape, the Marketplace for APIs, Moves to Beta | Know All That!

[...] doubt, we have seen phenomenal growth in APIs in the last year, as APIs are quickly becoming the most powerful way to access data and [...]

June 2nd, 2011
at 2:49 pm
Comment by: Mashape, the Marketplace for APIs, Moves to Beta | SEO College

[...] doubt, we have seen phenomenal growth in APIs in the last year, as APIs are quickly becoming the most powerful way to access data and [...]

June 2nd, 2011
at 3:18 pm
Comment by: Mashape, the Marketplace for APIs, Moves to Beta

[...] doubt, we have seen phenomenal growth in APIs in the last year, as they are quickly becoming the most powerful way to access data and [...]

June 3rd, 2011
at 1:01 am
Comment by: Mashape, the Marketplace for APIs, Moves to Beta | Scripting4U Blog

[...] doubt, we have seen phenomenal growth in APIs in the last year, as they are quickly becoming the most powerful way to access data and [...]

June 21st, 2011
at 8:02 am
Comment by: Comprendre Facebook (3/3) : L’internet des API, le web des applications | InternetActu

[...] service le plus populaire en terme d'utilisation sous forme de mashup (voir le classement), rapporte Programmable Web. Image : les API les plus utilisées par type sur ces 14 derniers jours, via Programmable [...]

August 31st, 2011
at 6:08 pm
Comment by: SXSW 2012: The Year of the API

[...] this the year of the API? Or is it next year? As we’ve pointed out before, the API universe is expanding. You have a chance now to make sure when thousands of geeks descend upon Austin next March, that [...]

September 19th, 2011
at 2:43 am
Comment by: Open API Growth: a Visualization – API Marketing

[...] As of today, our directory contains 3,904 APIs. In March there were only 3,000. We have already added more than all of 2010 [...]

January 4th, 2012
at 9:59 am
Comment by: Over 2,000 APIs Added in 2011: Social, Telephony, Open Government

[...] and internet fill the top two slots, echoing what we saw in the 2010 API stats. Telephony has become a larger part of the directory for likely two reasons. First, telco operators [...]

January 5th, 2012
at 4:02 am
Comment by: Over 2,000 APIs Added in 2011: Social, Telephony, Open Government – - API MarketingAPI Marketing

[...] and internet fill the top two slots, echoing what we saw in the 2010 API stats. Telephony has become a larger part of the directory for likely two reasons. First, telco operators [...]

September 13th, 2012
at 6:07 pm
Comment by: 2倍に成長した 2010年の クラウド API – トレンドは Social と Mobile « Agile Cat — in the cloud

[...] API Growth Doubles in 2010, Social and Mobile Are Trends Adam DuVander, January 3rd, 2011 http://blog.programmableweb.com/2011/01/03/api-growth-doubles-in-2010-social-and-mobile-are-trends/ [...]

November 6th, 2012
at 6:35 am
Comment by: Links della settimana #12-2011 « Avventure sul Web

[...] when you consider there were only 105 listed at the end of 2005. As we’ve noted previously, the growth rate of APIs doubled, which led to an influx of new services. Below are some of the trends we’ve spotted as the [...]

December 13th, 2012
at 1:46 am
Comment by: Linkflood #3-2011 | neetpiq

[...] when you consider there were only 105 listed at the end of 2005. As we’ve noted previously, the growth rate of APIs doubled, which led to an influx of new services. Below are some of the trends we’ve spotted as the [...]

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ProgrammableWeb
APIs, mashups and code. Because the world's your programmable oyster.

John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.