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.
Last fall we wrote an article that examined which APIs draw the most interest from developers. In that article we relied upon the API tracking functionality that each profile has as the metric for determining which APIs are the most popular. As many users of ProgrammableWeb know, reader’s can track any asset on ProgrammableWeb.com (APIs, SDKs, even search results) in the same way they can track stocks on a financial site. If anything new happens to that asset (if it gets updated, or there’s related news, etc.), you’ll be notified via email through a service we call the ProgrammableWeb WatchList. It’s like the Google Alerts of APIs. But we wondered if there was another way of looking at our data that may give us a different insight.
We have the ability to track how many times our users follow an outbound link from one of our profiles to an API provider’s site. We’re not spying. Such “site exits” are a standard metric offered by Google Analytics (where we get our metrics). In our minds, this provides an important signal. Plenty of users can come across an API profile and quickly leave. Clicking through to the provider’s site however, shows a level of interest that we think is more telling than tracking alone.
You can see that it is an interesting mix of some of the most well known APIs and others that fly under the radar. The interest in the Netflix API is unexpected given that the public program has been shut down since 2014. From Netflix’s point of view the decision made sense. At the time Daniel Jacobson had pointed out that it would take 11 years worth of public API requests to equal one day of private API requests. Despite the closure, Netflix still open sources much of their technology such as Chaos Monkey and Falcor, and this no doubt helps spur engagement with developers.
Bloomberg is an example of an API provider that we don’t see in the headlines too often, yet their API profile drove the second most visitors to their site. Providers of financial APIs, such as Bloomberg, have been getting a lot of attention recently. The push towards open banking, enabled by APIs, has spurred much of this interest. Last year we took a closer look at the growth of the Financial API space.
Speaking of popular categories, we know that weather APIs are among the most tracked in our directory. So it isn’t surprising to see four of the APIs driving the most engagement are weather related. In fact all of these APIs were mentioned in our look at the top 10 weather APIs.
Are you seeing a lot of developers coming your way from our directory? Let us know about it in the comments below. If you are a provider and don’t yet have a listing, adding one to 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.