Which are the most popular APIs in the world?

most popular APIs in the world xxl

As part of my market research, I was wondering which are the most popular APIs in the world in 2021. As you might know, there are 2 main online repositories of APIs: RapidAPI.com and ProgrammableWeb. ProgrammableWeb is currently the largest API directory you can find on the web, feat over 24,095 APIs! 

Unfortunately you can’t really play with the data on ProgrammableWeb itself. They don’t eat their own dog food: I can’t see any Developer API in their footer (that’s usually where you’ll find some documentation to programmatically access the data). So I decided to scrape the public data and play with it in a spreadsheet to have a good sense of the market. 

Thanks to the no-code magic of Google Sheets, I was able to sort the APIs in the directory by the amount of followers they have on ProgrammableWeb. Here are the 10 most popular APIs in the world based on this follower count. 

most popular apis in the world

The #1 on the list if Facebook API, followed by Google Maps API and Twitter API. 

The Top 10 features two weather APIs. 

At #10 we spot the Amazon Product Advertising API, which you can use for all sorts of purposes, incl. creating widgets for your Amazon affiliate site

A Covid-related API ranks at #23 (NovelCOVID API). 

If you crunch the numbers based on the amount of APIs per category listed on ProgrammableWeb, here’s the graph you get for 20,000 APIs, showcasing the most popular categories in the directory.

20 000 APIs classified per category popularity 2 xxl
Most Popular API Categories In The World

The most popular category is FINANCE (close to 5% of the total), followed by TOOLS (a broad category), PAYMENTS, MESSAGING and E-COMMERCE. In the years to come, we will probably see an increase in the proportion of Artificial Intelligence-related APIs, which represent 0.5% at time of writing (May 2021). This ranking gives you an idea of the most competitive API markets. 

Here’s the list of the 10 most popular APIs at time of writing: 

  • SendGrid (transactional emails)
  • Imgur (images)
  • ADSBexchange (live air traffic & aircraft positional data)
  • API-Football (scores)
  • TheRundown (real-time odds, scores, schedules & stats for all major sports)
  • Football Prediction
  • Web Search
  • GEODB Cities (get global city, region & country data)
  • Custom QR Code with Logo
  • UNoGS (unofficial Netflix Global Search)

If you’re into SEO analysis, RapidAPI offers dozens of options to enhance your research.

For instance an API to extract meta data, headlines & outbound links, another one to conduct KW research or another one returning a full SEO analysis for a target keyword. 

Another great resource to find an API which suits your needs is APIFY. 

Their API Store features 1061 results. 

The 10 most popular APIs are:

  • Web Scraper
  • Google Search Results Scraper
  • Google Maps Scraper
  • Instagram Scraper
  • Instagram Profile Scraper
  • Contact Details Scraper 
  • Twitter Scraper
  • Youtube Scraper
  • Amazon Product Scraper
  • Gif Scroll Automation (for testing purposes)

What’s the best API provider for SEO work?

I strongly recommend to check out the APIs provided by DataForSEO (used by leading professionals such as Neil Patel, for his UberSuggest platform). 

They offer a bunch of services around a SERP API, as well as advanced APIs for specific purposes (presented in their DataForSEO Labs section). Related keywords is for instance a great way to get up to 4680 KW ideas for each seed query! You can also get keyword ideas for a specific category or domain metrics (for up to 1,000 domains per query) in a specific category. 

Some of the methods aren’t cheap when you start scaling your research but the data is very good.

If you don’t know how to use an API but still want to leverage the power of programmatic research, you can check out Hexomatic which abstracts all the calls in a no-code workflow.  

If you’re researching specific tech stacks, I invite you to check out https://publicwww.com/ which offers an affordable API to search for text strings and code snippets in the source of most active websites. A nice tool to create shortlists of websites using a specific technology (e.g. Mailchimp or Hubspot). Much cheaper than BuiltWith. 

What is the best API for Text To Speech?

I’ve covered this topic in another article, comparing Amazon Polly, Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services and Google Cloud.

Here’s a poem of Thomas Hardy read by Guy, a neural voice from Microsoft.

What is the best API for Natural Language Generation? 

The easiest, cheapest and best API you can use in 2022 is undoubtedly GPT-3 by OpenAI. The quality of the output of their state-of-the-art DaVinci Model is very impressive.

Here’s the direct link to the API documentation: https://beta.openai.com/docs/introduction 

GPT-3 is also very good in NLP (Natural Language Processing), to paraphrase or summarize a complex piece of text.

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