Who Belongs to the API Billionaires Club?

Adam DuVander
May. 25 2011, 12:00AM EDT

We 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 billions. We refer to these companies as the API Billionaires Club. The image below, which comes from ProgrammableWeb Founder John Musser's talk later today at Glue, shows the big names that make up this exclusive club (update: the APIs State of the Market 2011 slides are up now).

All of Twitter's official applications use its API, including Twitter's web client. So, naturally the 140 character service tops the list with 13 billion API calls per day. In addition to its internal use, Twitter is one of the best examples of a vibrant developer ecosystem, despite complaints from some that Twitter is squeezing out the force that made it popular.

Google's spot on the list perhaps puts a scale on Twitter's achievements. The 5 billion calls per day to the search giant is spread amongst the 88 Google APIs. There's likely little internal use of Google APIs, so from a pure external developer standpoint the number of calls to Google is astounding.

Facebook gets a lot of guff for its lack of openness, with many calling it a walled garden. Though the complaints still exist, they were quieted with last year's introduction of the Facebook Graph API, which provides access to much of the content created and shared on the worldwide social network. However, Facebook has been a member of the API Billionaires Club since before its opened graph, showcasing the longtime reach of its developer network.

Other API Billionaires may only measure in billions per month, but its as impressive given their own scale. Hardly a Google or Facebook, NPR used its API and the 1.1 billion API-delivered stories to double its web traffic. The single Netflix API supports hundreds of devices. And the Salesforce.com API, which makes up 50% of the company's traffic, is often credited with the Software-as-a-Service pioneer's success.

The API Billionaires Club, like the growing number of APIs, provides important stories of success. These stories will encourage continued growth of APIs--in both numbers and usage--as mainstream companies continue to pick up on what we've all known for at least six years: the web is not just another channel for our messages. The web is a platform upon which the future is being built.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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[...] t&amp;#1211&amp;#1077 rise.) A&amp;#1109 &amp;#1091&amp;#959&amp;#965 m&amp;#1072&amp;#1091 &amp;#1211&amp;#1072&amp;#957&amp;#1077 noticed, APIs &amp;#1072r&amp;#1077 &amp;#1072&amp;#406&amp;#406 t&amp;#1211&amp;#1077 r&amp;#1072&amp;#609&amp;#1077 t&amp;#1211&amp;#1077&amp;#1109&amp;#1077 days. Twitter attracts 15 billion API calls per day, Google &amp;#1072&amp;#1495&amp;#1281 Facebook w&amp;#1077r&amp;#1077 [...]

[...] みなさんもお気づきと思うけど、このところAPIがブームだ。TwitterのAPIは1日に150億回呼び出されている。昨年のGoogleとFacebookはそれぞれ1日に50億回、Amazonが今S3に保存しているオブジェクトは260億以上あり、それにSaleforce.comはそのトラフィックの半分がAPIからだ。という次第だから、今日(米国時間6/2)から非公開ベータに入るMashapeは、このAPIブームの波に乗って稼ぎたいのだ。同社が提供するものは、デベロッパがAPIとそれに関するあらゆる情報を簡単に発見、配布、そして消費できるためのマーケットだ。 [...]

[...] The most popular Twitter ranking service, Klout, has used its API platform to boost its growth. The company, which is also expanding outside of Twitter, saw calls to its Klout API double in just a few months. The company is now clearly in the API billionaires club. [...]

[...] $(function(){ $(&quot;#startbox&quot;).html(&quot;The semantic text mining Alchemy API is now a member of the API Billionaires Club. The service, which makes sense of raw unstructured data, averages 65-75 million requests per day, [...]

[...] Still, the 7.5 billion API calls per month figure is impressive for an up-and-coming, four year-old startup and proves that its reputation score has met with industry approbation for the most part. But Klout has got a ways to go before it joins the likes of the elite; Twitter, Google and Facebook all field billions of API requests per day. [...]

[...] Still, the 7.5 billion API calls per month figure is impressive for an up-and-coming, four year-old startup and proves that its reputation score has met with industry approbation for the most part. But Klout has got a ways to go before it joins the likes of the elite; Twitter, Google and Facebook all field billions of API requests per day. [...]

[...] Still, the 7.5 billion API calls per month figure is impressive for an up-and-coming, four year-old startup and proves that its reputation score has met with industry approbation for the most part. But Klout has got a ways to go before it joins the likes of the elite; Twitter, Google and Facebook all field billions of API requests per day. [...]

[...] Who Belongs to the API Billionaires Club? Google’s spot on the list perhaps puts a scale on Twitter’s achievements. The 5 billion calls per day to the search giant is spread amongst the 88 Google APIs . There’s likely little internal use of Google APIs, so from a pure external developer standpoint the number of calls to Google is astounding. Facebook gets a lot of guff for its lack of openness, with many calling it a walled garden. [...]

[...] Folks also published Barcode Scanning SDK for developers and opened up their API to third-parties. PriceNark (the inventory and price system for ShopSavvy) currently handles more than 3.3 million API calls per day, or just over 100 million API calls per month. Not yet in the API Billionaires Club [...]

Nash

Great presentation! But isn't measuring requests a bad KPI for APIs? For example, Twitter uses a terrible poll-style API where every client needs to ping it again and again (once a minute or more) just to see if there's anything new. Wouldn't it be better to measure number of API consumers or apps etc?

[...] &#121;&#111;&#117; may &#104;&#97;&#118;&#101; noticed, APIs &#97;&#114;&#101; &#97;&#108;&#108; &#116;&#104;&#101; rage &#116;&#104;&#101;&#115;&#101; da.... Twitter attracts 15 billion API calls per day, Google &#97;&#110;&#100; Facebook were pulling [...]