10 Most Popular APIs for Photos

Digital cameras and mobile phones have transformed the photography world. It is estimated more than 1.2 trillion photos were taken during 2017, and an estimated 300 billion photos are uploaded to the internet every day. Many of the most popular applications these days are organized around photographs.

Developers wishing to create applications for this enormous trend with photos can tap into Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, to get the job done.

What is a Photos API?

A Photos API enables developers to integrate photo related functions into applications, including adding enhancements to social media photo applications, retrieving data from stock photos platforms, integrating photo editing services, connecting with photo hosting services, and much more.

Developers can find a comprehensive list of APIs for photograph related applications in the Photos category of ProgrammableWeb. Residing there are APIs for applications such as social media photo sharing, social video, photo editing and retouching, panoramas, mapping images, satellite imagery, drone imagery, special effects, print photos, organizing media, museums, bulk image hosting, stock photos, identification services, cameras, celebrity and fan photos, watermarking, humorous photos, and dozens of other sub-categories.

This article features ten of the top Photos APIs based on visitor traffic on the ProgrammableWeb website.

1. Instagram Graph API

Instagram is a photo sharing iPhone app and service. Users take photos and can share them with Instagram contacts, as well as friends on other social networks like Twitter and Facebook. The Instagram APITrack this API provides access to user Authentication, friend connections, photos and all the other elements of the iPhone app--including uploading new media. The Instagram Graph API is built on the Facebook Graph APITrack this API.

2. A View from my Seat API

A View from my Seat connects fans to their favorite teams by letting fans upload photos from their seats and showing them in seating charts on the team's website. The A View from my Seat API provides a RESTful interface for developers to enhance their sites and applications with fan photos. API returns venue, image, section, row, seat, notes, timestamp and more.

Get views from seats of event venues with this API

Get views from seats of event venues with this API. Screenshot: A View From My Seat

3. Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services Face API

Microsoft Cognitive Services are APIs that are powered by algorithms to perform computer vision, speech recognition, text analytics, recommendations, and other cognitive tasks. The Microsoft Cognitive Services Face APITrack this API offers cloud based human face recognition. Its main functionalities include face verification, similar face searching, automatic face grouping, and person identification. Microsoft Cognitive Services is formerly known as Project Oxford.

4. Flickr API

Flickr photo hosting Platform and sharing service. The Flickr APITrack this API can be used to retrieve photos from the Flickr photo sharing service using a variety of feeds, such as public photos and videos, favorites, friends, group pools, discussions, and others. The API can also be used to upload photos and video.

5. Car Imagery

The Car Imagery service allows users to include licensed stock images of cars on their websites. Developers can utilize the Car Imagery APITrack this API to enable applications with the Function to search got stock photographs of cars by make, model, options, year and trim. The API is available in both free (with query limits) and paid versions.

6. The Cat API

How can a list of photo APIs could be complete without an API for cat photos? The Cat API provides developers with free access to random cat pictures. With The Cat API, users can specify the number of returned results, image type, image size, and the category of the cat picture. The API also allows an application to vote on images, retrieve votes, favorite images, list categories, and more.

Add random cat photos to applications with The Cat API

Add random cat photos to applications with The Cat API. Image: The Cat API

7. UI Faces API

UI Faces aggregates photos from several web sources to provide avatars with real looking photos. Developers who use the UI Faces API can specify several parameters such as age, gender, and emotion, so that users may filter and sort the photos according to their needs.

8. Google Photos API

Google Photos allows users to back up their photos and lets users use Google Assistant to create albums and collages. The Google Photos Library APITrack this API will allow developers to port Google Photos, with all its tools, into their own application. The API enables applications to read, write, share photos and more.

9. Lorem Picsum API

Lorem Picsum APITrack this API provides random or specific uploaded images as placeholders. Developers need to specify a desired image size (width & height) at the end of the request URL. Grayscale and blur effects can be applied to any image.

Lorem Picsum API

Screenshot: Unsplash/Picsum

10. Remove.bg API

Remove.bg provides a tool to remove background areas from images. The Remove.bg APITrack this API is an image editing service that removes the background of photos of persons, and products. The maximum output resolution is 10 megapixels.

Remove backgrounds from images with one API call

Remove backgrounds from images with one API call. Screenshot: Kaleido /Remove.bg

In addition to the popular APIs above, the Photos category on ProgrammableWeb contains about 500 APIs, 240 SDKs, and 113 Source Code Samples, among other resources for developers.

Be sure to read the next Photos article: Unsplash Open Sources its Image Library