10 Most Popular Social APIs of 2020

There is no denying that social media has shaped our world in the last decade or two. And while it seems that something designed to bring us together is just as successful as driving us apart, one thing is for sure: it is not going away.

Developers wishing to cash in on the social phenomenon by creating or enhancing applications with social services can use APIs to get the job done.

What is a Social API?

A Social API is an Application Programming Interface that enables developers to connect with social media services and create or enhance their own applications.

The following APIs were the most popular APIs from ProgrammableWeb's Social category based on web page visits during the historic 2020 year.

1. Twitter API

Twitter has made V2 of the Twitter APITrack this API available in pre-release. It includes functions to specify data fields, plus added objects including mentioned accounts in Tweets, tagged places, quoted and replied-to Tweets, attached media, poll results and pinned Tweets. It also offers public and private Tweet metrics, insights on topics, and improved conversation tracking. This version will replace the standard v1.1, premium v1.1, and enterprise APIs in the future. Specific updated methods include Tweet lookup, recent search, filtered or sampled stream, user lookup and more. This API is listed in the Social category.

2. Facebook Graph API

Facebook Developers provide services that help build, grow and monetize applications, including the Facebook Graph APITrack this API. The Facebook Graph API provides searchable data about content objects on Facebook and the connections between them. This includes people, their friend relationships, shared content, comments, places, events, photos, groups pages, milestones, videos, live video, WhatsApp connections, and others. Public information can be accessed without a developer key/application key, but is required for private data access. The most recent version of the API is v9.0Track this API which was introduced during November, 2020.

3. Unofficial Google Trends API

Google Trends is a dashboard of trending topics based on Google search queries. The Unofficial Google Trends APITrack this API offers Google Trends data such as keyword popularity data by location, and date. This API makes use of several methods such as returning the current top 20 trending topics for a desired location (hotTrends), returning the top 30 searches of the last month (top30in30), or returning data by category (categoryTopCharts). It is used with a corresponding Node.js SDK.

4. LinkedIn API

LinkedIn (a subsidiary of Microsoft) is the world's largest business social networking hub. The LinkedIn APITrack this API is a RESTful platform that provides data about people, companies, jobs, and the interactions and relationships between them. LinkedIn API v2 includes methods for connections, member rich content, profiles, and its marketing developer platform.

5. Instagram Graph API

Instagram is a photo sharing application primarily used by mobile users. 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 application, including uploading new media.

ProgrammableWeb's Instagram screenshot

ProgrammableWeb's Instagram page | Screenshot: Instagram

6. Google Waze Transport API

Google Waze is an application that offers crowdsourced information from drivers to provide the best mapping routes while a user is traveling. The Waze Transport SDK is available for iOS and Android application developers for adding Waze functions to applications.

7. SoundCloud API

SoundCloud is an audio platform that enables anyone to upload, record, promote and share their sounds across the web, and it is popular. The SoundCloud APITrack this API makes most of the features from SoundCloud.com available to app developers. With the help of its SDKs it's easy to integrate functionality like audio sharing and recording directly into iOS, Android and web apps. Though the API was determined to be vulnerable to attackers early in 2020, issues were fixed and the API remains one of the most popular APIs on ProgrammableWeb.

8. TikTok API

TikTok is a social, short-form video application. In the news for being banned by India as well as attempted blocks by President Trump over security concerns, the application remains extremely popular here in the U.S. The Share to TikTok APITrack this API allows users to add a "Share to TikTok" button to applications, and provides a way to share short-form videos with the TikTok community. The API is accessible indirectly via NodeJS, iOS, and Android SDKs.

9. WeChat API

WeChat is a social messaging application that works across different and multiple platforms. WeChat offers instant messaging, chat, video calls, and voice chats. The WeChat APITrack this API and SDKs allow developers to access and integrate the functionality of WeChat with other applications. Some example API methods include managing users, managing accounts, and retrieving lists of chats and calls.

10. Foursquare API

Foursquare is a location data platform and mobile application. The Foursquare Places APITrack this API provides location based experiences with diverse information about venues, users, photos, and check-ins. The API supports real time access to places, Snap-to-Place (assigns users to specific locations), and geotagging. Additionally, Foursquare allows developers to build audience segments for analysis and measurement.

The Social category is a huge one on ProgrammableWeb, as it contains nearly 1000 SDKs, 400 Source Code Samples and more than 1500 APIs.