Editor's note: Be sure to check out our research on the overall growth of Web APIs since 2005. At the time of writing, this is the most recent data we have, but check the research page to see if we have a more updated article. We will be continually updating the overall growth chart with other charts getting updated on a less frequent basis.
At ProgrammableWeb, we have been tracking APIs in our directory since 2005. One of the cool things this allows us to do is to look at both short term and long term trends in the API space. One interesting view of our data is to look at the categories that are experiencing the most growth in our directory. In 2014 we reviewed and expanded our category taxonomy so this gives us a natural starting point to look at which ones have seen the most APIs added. Just as we did in our look at the most represented categories, this first graph shows the most popular categories, across both primary and secondary.
Fastest growing API categories - Primary or secondary category
Much like in our research into the most represented categories, we show the Data, Financial, Messaging and Payments categories were among the ones experiencing the greatest growth. If you have been following our series of research articles, this should come as no surprise.
Gartner has projected the worldwide public cloud market to grow to $411 billion by 2020. Cloud providers now offer infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service solutions and there are any number of companies offering cloud based products. As a result organizations of all sizes have migrated to the cloud in droves, a trend that no doubt is reflected in Cloud being the sixth fastest growing API category in recent years.
The table below shows more of the fastest growing categories within our directory.
We can limit our data to show the fastest growing categories when they are listed as the primary category only.
Fastest Growing API Categories when used as Primary Category
The top ten looks very similar with seven of the top ten categories being repeated from above. The Stocks category has seen a big rise in recent years, this is likely in conjunction with the growth of Financial APIs that we examined last year.
Bitcoin is another category that has seen a lot of growth in recent years. When we last examined the category, Bitcoin was about to skyrocket in price. While the price has come down from its high point, it is still more than four times as valuable as it was a year ago. There is a bit of a gold rush mentality in this space so it makes sense to see so many new APIs related to Bitcoin. Keep following ProgrammableWeb in the coming weeks as we will present a series that looks into the role APIs play in the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Lastly we wanted to look at the fastest growing API categories going back to the beginning of 2017.
If you have been following trends in the API space then this list comes as no surprise. Four of the ten are related to financial matters. The table above also reinforces the point we raised in our most popular API category article, Data and Analytics go hand in hand and have been seeing quite a bit of growth.
If you are an API provider, adding a listing in our directory is a great way to improve the discoverability of your APIs and raise awareness of your program. If you would like to include your APIs in our directory, you can use the link below.