There are surprisingly few meaningful API numbers to showcase across the API sector. There are few API or API service providers who have a view of the landscape that can produce meaningful numbers, and most prefer to keep their numbers close to their chests for a variety of reasons. Over the last decade we've all grown accustom to the Programmable Web hockey stock chart showing the number of public APIs added to the PW directory, due to the ubiquitous graphic being used in conference talks and blog posts since before 2010. I've always been a big advocate of API service providers developing and sharing their data, something that hasn't diminished at Postman.
Postman has a pretty unique view of the API landscape, possessing many interesting data points. The company is working on a strategy for compiling, organizing, publishing, and sharing the data it has in a thoughtful way, something that you can see trickling out through a variety of slides from recent events like the Postman Galaxy Tour, and Postcon last year. Like this one showing the growth in API collections, topping at 34.9M collections published in 2020.
The important thing with this visual is it reflects both private and public APIs. This graphis is just one of many data points Postman possesses that I am working to encourage packing up, so that others can reference and use, much like the ProgrammableWeb public API chart over the last decade. Visuals like this are important all of us making sense of what is going on, and be able to truly see the scope of what is happening.
I'd love to see other API service providers share their numbers, but like Postman, I understand it is difficult to do in a meaningful way that respects the privacy of your users, and the interests of your investors. I will keep pushing for more observability into the API community through the Postman lens, and hopefully produce some interesting visuals along the way. If there are specific numbers you'd like to see made available to the community, feel free to ping me. I'd love to hear more about the numbers that matter in your corner of the APi economy/