4,000 Web APIs: What’s Hot and What’s Next?

Adam DuVander, October 3rd, 2011

Today we’re marking another milestone in our API directory: we now list 4,000 of them. It’s only been six months since we toasted the 3,000th. And, as we’ve said before, the site ended its first year, 2005, listing only 105 APIs. The whole web as a platform has come a long way and done so very quickly. There are some areas, such as social, which are incredibly popular. There’s also a lot of room for expansion, as industries like travel and retail have yet to fully embrace APIs. How soon will we mark the 5,000th?

FacebookObviously Facebook has been an incredible force on the Internet, so that shows in the over 500 social APIs. In fact, just within Facebook itself we’ve seen growth over the last year. It’s not just the Facebook API now. There are 8 Facebook APIs.

Google PlusWe’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the newest player in social APIs. The Google Plus API was released just a couple weeks ago. While the service Google Plus only supports public data, and is read-only, it’s a first move in what is bound to become a rich API. After all, the search giant has 91 Google APIs.

Separate from the main Google Plus API is the Google Plus Hangouts API, which provides tools for developers to build collaborative applications within a Google Plus Hangouts video chat room. Video is another area where we continue to see growth, with over 150 video APIs. There were only 100 video APIs a year ago. Video is both hot, as well as poised for growth as “smart TVs” able to run apps become the norm.

Best Buy BBYOpen CommerceSimilarly, there is a movement that could help another popular API category grow much faster than it already has. We list over 200 shopping APIs, but how many will we see when more commerce APIs are released? These APIs bring the purchase into the flow of the app itself, rather than referring traffic. The end result could be hundreds of sellers following in the footsteps of electronics retailer Best Buy with its Best Buy Commerce API, which even allows end users to pick up purchases in a local store.

For more on shopping, which includes biggies like the Groupon API, be sure to check out our breakdown of e-commerce APIs.

Finally, we list just over 100 travel APIs within the 4,000. But there are many travel API opportunities and this is another area that we should see grow soon. Travel is an industry that’s always had APIs to distribute flight schedules and ticket prices, but its systems have been much more closed than what web developers are used to seeing. Travel may be the industry that could be most impacted by a move toward the more open way of web APIs.

What do you think? What will be the trends coming as we all zoom toward a world with 5,000 APIs?

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10 Responses to “4,000 Web APIs: What’s Hot and What’s Next?”

October 21st, 2011
at 12:01 pm
Comment by: Thanks ProgrammableWeb Sponsors

[...] ProgrammableWeb, we’ve recently marked some important milestones passing 4,000 APIs and 6,000 mashups in our directory. The growth of our directory continues to accelerate and our [...]

October 21st, 2011
at 3:02 pm
Comment by: The Increasing Importance of APIs in Web Development | linuxin.ro

[...] October 3rd, 2011, ProgrammableWeb announced another major milestone, their API directory now listed 4,000 Web APIs. The news came only six months after they had [...]

October 22nd, 2011
at 5:42 am
Comment by: The Increasing Importance of APIs in Web Development | Web Design Northamptonshire

[...] October 3rd, 2011, ProgrammableWeb announced another major milestone, their API directory now listed 4,000 Web APIs. The news came only six months after they had [...]

October 22nd, 2011
at 8:49 am
Comment by: The Increasing Importance of APIs in Web Development

[...] October 3rd, 2011, ProgrammableWeb announced another major milestone, their API directory now listed 4,000 Web APIs. The news came only six months after they had [...]

October 26th, 2011
at 9:41 pm
Comment by: The API Computing Magic Troika and the API Economy | Craig Burton

[...] at the numbers published by  the folks at the Programmableweb earlier this month when they hit the 4000 API [...]

November 3rd, 2011
at 12:01 am
Comment by: The Private API Iceberg

[...] directory recently passed 4,000 APIs, each one different than almost every other one. There is a single defining factor of all 4,000: in [...]

November 3rd, 2011
at 8:16 am
Comment by: Craig Burton: Digital Identity is core to all this stuff. « Discovering Identity

[...] lucid commentary, but recommend that you read it.  Please also take a few minutes and read the Programmable Web article Craig mentions, about the accelerating growth of public [...]

January 10th, 2012
at 3:21 am
Comment by: 4,000 Web APIs: What’s Hot and What’s Next? « Tech around local platform

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February 6th, 2012
at 12:01 am
Comment by: 5,000 APIs: Facebook, Google and Twitter Are Changing the Web

[...] directory has hit another major milestone. We now list 5,000 APIs, just a short four months since passing 4,000. No longer is the web simply about links connecting one site to another. Instead, developers are [...]

February 6th, 2012
at 2:29 am
Comment by: 5,000 APIs: Facebook, Google and Twitter Are Changing the Web – - API MarketingAPI Marketing

[...] directory has hit another major milestone. We now list 5,000 APIs, just a short four months since passing 4,000. No longer is the web simply about links connecting one site to another. Instead, developers are [...]

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