What Kinds of APIs Do Developers Most Love?

Wendell Santos
Apr. 11 2012, 12:30PM EDT

Having a directory with over 5,000 APIs and 6,000 mashups gives us some insight into what developers are interested in building and what their go to tools are. Today we're taking a look at the most common categories of APIs as used in our mashup directory. It's no surprise to see mapping claim the top spot with more than double the number of APIs used compared to the second most popular category, social. Below is a list of the top 10 API categories along with the most popular APIs within each.

1. Mapping (3,262 APIs used)
Google MapsMapping only has the second highest number of APIs but, in Google Maps has the king of APIs used in mashups. Of the total 3,262 times a mapping API has been used, Google Maps has been used an astounding 2,363 times. The latest mashup to use Google Maps is Belgian Rail Demo which was named Mashup of the Day this Monday.

2. Social (1,504)
TwitterSocial is the leading category of API in our directory with over 600 APIs and is the second most used for mashups. The most used API by nearly a two to one margin is Twitter with nearly 700 mashups to its credit. The latest Twitter mashup is Shark the Market.

3. Search (1,130)
eBayThe third most used category is the search API with more than 1,100 appearances in the mashup directory. The eBay API is the most popular, perhaps surprisingly so, being used more often than either the Google Search or Yahoo Search APIs. One of the most recent eBay mashups is ShopCaste which was named Mashup of the Day in February.

4. Photos (898)
FlickrNo surprise here as Flickr dominates this category. The latest Flickr mashup is Caption.Me, named Mashup of the Day in March. An interesting API to keep an eye on is popular newcomer Pinterest. Its first mashup, Mapinterest was added last week.

5. Shopping (838)
Amazon eCommerceThe fifth most popular API category is shopping with online retail giant Amazon leading the way. The Amazon eCommerce service beats out eBay for the most used API. We see shopping mashups worthy of Mashup of the Day consideration nearly every week with bogomash being the latest.

6. Video (831)
YouTubeVideo is another category where one API stands above all the others. YouTube remains the go to API for video mashup developers. Last week alone YouTube was featured in two Mashup of the Day winners with Jozomello being the most recent.

7. Music (502)
Last.fm The music category contains 146 APIs that have been used 502 times in mashups. Last.fm has the most with 212 mashups. Ivy FM was the last Mashup of the Day to use the API.

8. Telephony (447)
TwilioThe eighth most frequently used category is Telephony. Twilio, with its active developer community and app gallery is the clear leader when it comes to APIs used in mashups. Get Rhythm was one of the most recent mashups in the category and was also named Mashup of the Day.

9. Internet (441)
Google App EngineThe next spot on the list brings us to the internet category and leading the way is the Google App Engine with 113 mashups associated with it. The most recent mashup in this category is 4sqwifi which was also named Mashup of the Day in January.

10. Messaging (342)
Twilio SMSRounding out our top ten is the messaging category with 342 uses by mashups. And we're back to Twilio and the Twilio SMS API as the most frequently used. The latest Mashup of the Day in this category is Chatwing.

Wendell Santos

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Orville

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