900 Web APIs

John Musser
Aug. 28 2008, 01:24AM EDT

This week our API directory crossed another threshold -- now with 900 open web service APIs listed. 2008 has been a busy year for new APIs, first averaging 40 APIs per month in Q1 and then up to 60 new web service APIs just last month alone.

We continue to see a diversity of new APIs being used and for subjects going beyond the classic mapping mashups. Here's the pie chart showing distribution of APIs used over the last 14 days, which includes a healthy variety of web services:

And to get a better sense of the distribution of number of APIs within each category, the table below gives you the count by category (you can click through any to get the details).

APIs By Category

Advertising (10)  Fax (1)  Music (33)  Security (16) 
Answers (3)  Feeds (11)  News (11)  Shipping (7) 
Blog Search (7)  File Sharing (3)  Office (12)  Shopping (33) 
Blogging (15)  Financial (35)  Other (74)  Sports (6) 
Bookmarks (15)  Food (2)  Other Search (1)  Storage (12) 
Calendar (4)  Games (11)  Payment (5)  Tagging (6) 
Catalog (1)  Government (18)  Photos (32)  Telephony (27) 
Chat (11)  Internet (50)  PIM (7)  Tools (5) 
Community (42)  Job Search (5)  Politics (2)  Travel (12) 
Database (6)  Mapping (71)  Project Mgmt (12)  Utility (7) 
Dating (1)  Media Mgmt (7)  Real Estate (8)  Video (28) 
Email (22)  Media Search (1)  Rec's (14)  Weather (4) 
Enterprise (23)  Medical (10)  Reference (46)  Widgets (17) 
Events (6)  Messaging (33)  Search (30)  Wiki (9) 

As this table shows, there are clearly categories that have some very active competition like mapping, photo, shopping and video. Others are very active but don't yet show big numbers in total include travel and government.

It's also interesting to note that related technology trends, such as the rise of cloud computing, will likely be driving an increase of certain types of APIs, in this case for online storage and computing resources. Expect to see a lot more APIs in these categories in the coming months.

John Musser

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[...] we have found that APIs can be like a lot like apples and oranges. So, with the number of available APIs growing, at a rate that can be more than 60 per month we thought people would benefit from some a simple way to think of API categorization based on how [...]