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Lennox Charles
Lennox Charles

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"API Thinking" - Know your audience category

When building an API (Application Programmable Interface), no matter what stage you are in the process, it is always important to correctly identify your target audience. This step is essential when developing an API, why?, it will enable you to know how to market your API correctly and to the right people.

However, there are lots of benefits when you find the right audience for your API. I'll be concentrating on the three main categories into which your audience might be segmented in this article.

PS: In subsequent posts, I will talk about knowing your target audience, I would recommend you stick around, just a piece of friendly advice ;-)

Now let the fun begin!

3 Categories of audiences

Private APIs

You might have heard of this before-but if not-No, this is not an API running on your local desktop. This is an API that exposes part of an organization's backend data for developers working in the same organization. Gotten an idea?

Private APIs can have usage limits and can only be accessed by authorized users. A simple scenario where private APIs are frequently used is for businesses to grant authorized employees and partners access to their internal data and systems.

One key benefit of private APIs is they can significantly reduce development time and resources.


The purpose of a private API is to make it possible for internal developers who are creating new apps to utilize existing systems like the backend already being used by the organization. You need to ensure that the program satisfies both the organization's short-term project objectives.

Public APIs

Now, this is the famous one, public APIs are designed to be easily accessible by a wider population of web and mobile developers. It can literally be used both by developers inside and outside the organization.

This category of APIs helps smaller organizations create organic interests in their core business values. Although it can generate revenue if usage is substantial, it can also be used as a marketing channel for smaller businesses.


A public API's success will depend on its capacity to draw outside developers and assist them in building genuinely useful new applications that users actually desire to use. The primary objective should be to promote API usage, both in terms of quantity and quality.


Partner APIs

These APIs are typically used to support apps created by programmers working for a company that already has a working relationship with the API developer.

Sounds similar to private APIs right? Let me clarify that for you:

Partner APIs are private APIs that have been made available for authorized partners only. It may have special terms and conditions concerning its usage.

Now you see the difference? of course, you do.

To implement a partnership API, the API developer will need to have knowledge and direct access to the client developer application.


Be as it may, the API developer or designer will need to have access to the developer application, but they lack direct influence or authority over the developer.

Regardless, it will be good to know how the API will be used and by whom.

BONUS: Where to find APIs you can use

As an added bonus to this essay, I'll show you some places where you can find APIs to use or recommend.

DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation whatsoever to these sites, just sharing a resource.

  1. The largest API marketplace in the world, RapidAPI, with more than 10,000 APIs and one million active developers. On this website, cutting-edge APIs are categorized according to the industries in which they are used.

  2. ProgrammableWeb: ProgrammableWeb is a strong API repository with the largest, hand-curated API directory in the world, with an estimated 17,000 APIs. This website, which was created by Mulesoft, also offers a ton of news, press releases, tutorials, reviews, and articles about APIs.

  3. API List: Since its 2017 launch, API List has become one of the web's most trustworthy sites for API information. There are several APIs available on this site, including more than 800 free APIs.

  4. API For That: API For That is another top-notch website where you can get a hand-curated directory. The portal features over 400 API profiles in over 20 industrial areas. Additionally, each API in this repository comes with a description, some basic documentation, and a link to the webpage of the provider.

I could give a long list but you could easily find these resources on google, or whatever search engine you use.


Knowing the category your API falls in will determine how you search for your target audience. These categories only help to streamline your audience research.

That's a wrap! Thanks for taking out time to read this post. See you in more subsequent posts. Feel free to use the comment session if you have any thoughts or corrections.

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