Think the social web is big? When it comes to connecting Twitter, Facebook and others to the rest of the web, APIs are there to do the heavy lifting. The category continues to explode, already surpassing the number of social APIs added last year. Our directory currently lists 558 social APIs, with nearly 200 added this year.
Twitter Outshines Facebook
Likely because most of Twitter's user content is public, building services off of the microblogging platform is more natural. Because of that, there are 100 Twitter APIs. We're still seeing more signs of these APIs: there were 86 earlier this year when we wrote about Twitter's other ecosystem and only 43 a year prior. By comparison, we list 25 Facebook APIs derived from the social network's data.
Bring in the A/V Team
Among the other popular areas within the social APIs are 46 social photo APIs (11 of which also use Twitter). And though video APIs have been more popular than photo APIs of late, in the social realm that hasn't as much been the case: we list 24 social video APIs
Mobile and Location Are Checking In
As was the case when API growth doubled in 2010, mobile is still a rapidly-growing segment. And because our social lives don't stop when we're on the go, we list 33 mobile social APIs in the directory, including Foursquare.
The check-in service is also one of the 26 social location APIs, almost half of which were added in 2011.
With social features becoming more integrated into all sites and apps, developers will need to depend on social APIs--both big and small--to work as the glue. Based on what we're seeing in the directory, expect even more options for social APIs in 2012 and beyond.