10 Free APIs for Your Next Project

While many APIs are premium and provided at a price, there are some that you can integrate for free into your projects or MVPs
by Juliet Edjere ·


    While many APIs are premium and provided at a price, there are some that you can integrate for free into your projects or MVPs.

    Here are some of the best free APIs that we know of, that offer useful features either completely for free or with a generous free tier that allows for experimentation before you have to upgrade to a paid tier.

    1. Mapbox API

    Mapbox is a location data platform that powers the maps and location services used in many popular apps.

    Mapbox technologies power an array of location capabilities organized into these core services: Maps service, Search service, Navigation service and Vision service.

    The pricing is designed with a generous free tier covering typical usage during development, and then metered services for usage typical of production applications with active users.

    2. Twitter API

    The Twitter API can be used to retrieve and analyze Twitter data, as well as build for the conversation on Twitter. Tweets and replies are made available to developers to post Tweets via the company's API.

    In a few clicks, you can sign up for a developer account and start exploring and building on the Twitter API v2 using Essential access. With Essential access, you are only able to make requests to the Twitter API v2 endpoints, limited to 500K Tweets/month, and unable to take advantage of certain developer portal functionality such as teams and access to additional App environments.

    3. Facebook API

    Common use cases of the Facebook APIs are to get data in and extract data from the platform. Developers and users can access user information, photos and videos, messages and more Facebook functionalities.

    All API requests are subject to rate limits. Facebook rate-limiting defines how many API calls can be made within a specified time period. All calls count towards the rate limits, not just individual API requests.

    When integrated, users can get information in their Instagram accounts, integrate Facebook login on your app, monetize your app with ads from Facebook advertisers, or get listed as a featured game on Facebook.

    4. Spotify API

    The Spotify Web API is based on REST principles. The query address of Web API is https://api.spotify.com, which is the address where all the request goes. The API provides a set of endpoints, each with its own unique path.

    Based on simple REST principles, the Spotify Web API endpoints return JSON metadata about music artists, albums, tracks, podcasts, manage your Spotify library, control audio playback, all directly from the Spotify Data Catalogue.

    5. Shutterstock API

    The Shutterstock API provides access to Shutterstock's library of media, information about customers' accounts and the contributors that provide the media. Customer platforms can search for media, view information and previews for the media, and license and download media.

    The Free plan includes a variety of Shutterstock's top-selling images across multiple categories. With a free account, you can search and view a limited library of media with the API, create collections, and view thumbnails and previews of media, but not license or download full pieces of media.

    To use the API, you need to sign up for a free Shutterstock account.

    Business API subscriptions can request up to five platform licenses in a single request. Other subscription types must request platform licenses one at a time.

    6. LinkedIn API

    LinkedIn provides developers with the ability to integrate their app with LinkedIn through their self-service products or through applying to be a part of one of their enterprise programs.

    The APIs are currently provided for free and provide a simple, consistent representation of people, companies and jobs.

    With the new Token Generator tool, it is now easier to get started with LinkedIn APIs. The tool will configure your app and generate access tokens for you.

    7. OpenWeatherMap API

    OpenWeatherMap API is one of the popular choices for accessing high volumes of free weather data. It allows access to current weather data for any location in over 200,000 cities, forecasts, and weather maps, particularly useful if you are looking to build map-based interfaces.

    OpenWeatherMap collects and processes weather data from different sources such as global and local weather models, satellites, radars and a vast network of weather stations. The data is available in JSON, XML, or HTML format.

    Access 60 calls/minute and 1,000,000 calls/month on OpenWeatherMap weather APIs for free. If your requirements go beyond the freemium account conditions, you may check their subscription plans.

    8. OpenSky API

    OpenSky API is an open API that lets you retrieve live airspace information for research and non-commercial purposes. The API comes with Java and Python and can be used with any language that supports JSON-based REST APIs.

    OpenSky provides specific documentation for its REST API. It also provides access to an aircraft database. You can freely use the API for personal and non-profit applications but any commercial use requires consent.

    OpenSky API allows accessing its API without using credentials subject to certain limitations. Anonymous users can only get the most recent state vectors and can only retrieve data with a time resolution of 10 seconds.

    9. The New York Times API

    Times APIs allow you to access New York Times data for non-commercial use in your own applications.

    NYT currently has ten public APIs: Archive, Article Search, Books, Community, Geographic, Most Popular, Semantic, Times Newswire, TimesTags, and Top Stories.

    The APIs use a RESTful style and a resource-oriented architecture to facilitate a wide range of uses, from custom link lists to complex visualizations. Calls are made via HTTPS requests.

    10. Archive.org API

    Internet Archive is well-known for the Wayback Machine, the archive.org website, and OpenLibrary. Archive.org provides APIs for accessing book metadata and fulltext.

    Archive.org has a variety of official APIs and experimental Labs APIs for accessing item metadata, downloading and uploading content, and performing item search and fulltext search.

    Notable mentions

    Some APIs provide access to your account functionality:

    Mailchimp API

    MailChimp has two APIs available for developers, a Marketing API and a Transactional API. Use the Mailchimp Transactional API to send fast, personalized transactional emails.

    The Mailchimp Marketing API provides access to Mailchimp data and functionality, allowing developers to build custom features to do things like sync email activity and campaign analytics with their database, manage audiences and campaigns, and more.

    HubSpot API

    HubSpot’s APIs are designed to enable teams of any shape or size to build robust integrations that help them customize and get the most value out of HubSpot.

    All HubSpot APIs are built using REST conventions with standard HTTP features, including methods (POST, GET, PUT, DELETE) and error response codes. All HubSpot API calls are made under https://api.hubapi.com and all responses return standard JSON.

    Skyscanner APIs

    Skyscanner is a metasearch engine (or search aggregator) that lets travellers look for flights and hotels at the best rates from its database of prices from a large number of suppliers.

    Airline websites hold data pertinent to them. Here's how Skyscanner works - Skyscanner uses APIs to collect flight and hotel prices from hotels and airlines. It interacts with the suppliers' websites to access their database to see availability, cost, flight time, route popularity, etc.

    Skyscanner APIs are exposed to the strategic business partners through a commercial agreement only, and not available publicly. Partners are selected on a case-by-case basis, taking into account things like web traffic, market proposition and alignment with our strategy.

    An access token will be required to authenticate the account when making a request. Via the API, It requests data from each one of these sites and aggregates flight details to provide the response. If you make a booking, Skyscanner will use APIs to confirm with the provider it was sourced from.

    API endpoint: https://partners.api.skyscanner.net/apiservices/

    If you are interested in pursuing integration with Skyscanner, submit a request here - https://partners.skyscanner.net/contact/.

    Key Takeaways

    From the article, it’s clear that most of these APIs have some limitations you have to pay for or open to strategic business partners only, like Skyscanner. Developers can also search, test and discover thousands of APIs via the API marketplace RapidAPI.

    Whether it’s streaming with Spotify and Netflix, paying with Stripe, searching for the weather, logging in with Facebook, or interacting with a Twitter bot, all of these rely on APIs to deliver power and flexibility.

    About the authorJuliet Edjere@juliethiri
    Juliet is a content and product strategist. She is passionate about products, technology and people, particularly building scalable solutions on top of no-code tools.

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    10 Free APIs for Your Next Project
    10 Free APIs for Your Next Project