ProgrammableWeb now tracks over 100 Google APIs. The search giant has always been developer-focused. By mid-2006, way early in the API timeline, Google already had 10 APIs. We’ll look at where they are now and reflect on how amazing it is that eight of those 10 are still around. And there’s an irony to the two that are no longer available.
The Google Maps API spawned an entire movement, urged forward by some of the earliest map mashups. The API gained wild popularity and Google said that it is on over 1 million websites. Long a completely free API, heavy users must now pay.
The Google Talk API was all about openness when it launched in 2005. In an age of AOL Instant Messenger, Google made waves. Recently, Google has favored its Hangouts feature of Google Plus. When Hangouts became its own product, the EFF said Google abandoned open standards.
The Google Search API was a very early API from Google to access search results. It also appears to be the first API that Google deprecated. It’s a little strange that a company with search as its core competency decided to stop sharing its results with developers.
The Blogger API was Google’s first developer service outside of the main Google brand. The API for granddaddy blogging platform is now on its third version
The YouTube API was immediately popular. In a time when map mashups were all the rage, ProgrammableWeb saw more developers viewing the YouTube profile than Google Maps. Though there are far fewer YouTube mashups, I find video apps even more fun to browse than maps.
Another API-via-acquisition, the FeedBurner API helps developer interact with RSS feeds and data surrounding them. With the coming demise of Google Reader, it’s worth speculating how much longer FeedBurner–and its API–will be part of the active Google arsenal.
The Google Calendar API was an early adopter of Google’s GData format, which was a key piece of the Calendar API announcement. GData is an XML-based format that spoke both RSS and Atom at a time when it seemed like those formats were going mainstream. The Calendar API v3 is more with the times, returning JSON.
Of course there’s an API for Google’s main income stream. The Google AdWords API is the only Google-branded API from the search company to still use SOAP and there’s not even a RESTful version.
Finally, the Google AdSense API helps developers spread Google’s homegrown ad network across millions of websites. Google went on to dogfood its way to combining two of its first 10 APIs when it integrated AdSense and Blogger using its own API.
Those are the first 10 Google APIs–which are your favorites?