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Who Belongs to the 2011 Open APIs Billionaires Club?

by Jean-Jacques Dubray on May 27, 2011 |

Web APIs are growing both in number and in volume at an uabated pace. The ProgrammableWeb has toady 3200+ Web APIs in its directory and 5800+ mashups. John Musser who founded the site, noted in his talk at Glue that it took 8 years to reach 1000, 18 more months to reach 2000, and only 9 months to reach 3000.

These APIs can be found across a large spectrum of domains (financial, music, telephony, search, ... with Social, Mapping and Internet APIs being slightly ahead of the pack).

What's even more amazing is the emergence of the "Billionaire Club", the companies that process billions of APIs calls. John reported an unofficial ranking:

  • Twitter - 13 Billion API calls / day (may 2011)
  • Netflix - 10 Billion API calls / month (Jan 2011)
  • Amazon Web Services - 260 Billion objects stored in S3 (January 2011)
  • NPR - 1.6 Billion API-delivered story (October 2010)
  • Google - 5 Billion API calls / day (April 2010)
  • Facebook - 5 Billion API calls / day (October 2009)
  • eBay - 8 Billion API calls / month (Q3 2009)
  • Bing - 3 Billion API calls / month (march 2009)

John also reported that there are 5 times more so-called "REST" APIs vs SOAP which he attributes to simplicity. 55% of all new APIs support JSON compared to less than 10% in 2006 and 20% of all the new APIs support only JSON.

He also noted that a new trend is emerging:

When an API is not an extension of your product, it is your product ... *** the web site, let's focus on the API

For him, Web APIs have become business as usual, why wouldn't you have one?

Madhu Gupta announced today that LinkedIn has now 25,000 registered developers and is serving 2 billion calls per day after launching their open platform 18 months ago. They added today more APIs, focused on company and job information:

  • Retrieve detailed Company content
  • Search across companies with rich facets
  • Get Products and Recommendations for any Company
  • Follow Companies on LinkedIn
  • Get Personalized Suggestions for Companies to Follow

Open APIs are here to stay, as I reported previously they enable "Service as a Software" (this is not a typo), i.e. they enable creating a variety of software solutions from a physical or information- based service. This is yet another major paradigm shift, as profound and complementary to Cloud Computing or even Mobility.

Can you share some of the cool things you do with Open APIs? whare are your favorites? What are the ones you wish you had?

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