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API.expert Weekly API Analysis: Twitter Tops Social

This Week’s Highlights

  • Twitter in the Social Networks category takes the overall title this week with a CASC score of 9.77.
  • UK in the UK Government is the fastest API this week with a median latency of 71 ms.
  • Environmental Systems Research Institute in the US Government category takes the overall bottom spot again this week with a CASC score of 5.59, down from 5.95 last week.
  • We take a good, hard look at what Twitter is doing so well and where it can still improve.

Something of interest

Twitter tops the Social Networks category this week and takes the overall crown with an excellent CASC score of 9.77.  What’s it doing right? And are there any areas it could improve?

twitter api tops social 1

What’s interesting in terms of Total Time of the API is that every region except South Asia has two or more good clouds.

This is why you need to be actively monitoring your APIs.

Twitter is a global service. Its users in South Asia should be receiving as good an API service as those in other regions. And it is noteworthy that though the fastest location is Azure North America, in all other regions other Europe, Azure is by far the slowest cloud.

Many Twitter users are going to accessing the Twitter API via that popular cloud and are going to encounter hundreds of additional latency in some cases.

That’s not acceptable.

So optimizing network performance between clouds and regions is a priority, especially given that Twitter does have quick locations in what are often slow regions (East Asia, Oceania, South America and South Asia). If they can do it from some locations, they should be able to do it from all.

twitter api tops social 2

It’s not DNS though. Twitter does very well here with aa DNS Lookup Time of 4 ms or 12 ms everywhere.

twitter api tops social 3

We see a big issue though with TCP Connection Time for Azure, where it is 125 ms or more from East Asia, Oceania, South America and Oceania.

Something is clearly out of kilter here as the TCP Connection Time outside South Asia is everywhere 29 ms or less and in 8 out of 22 locations 8 ms or less.

Surely, something could be done to optimize performance for this component for AWS.

twitter api tops social 4

We see exactly the same pattern with Azure for Handshake Time. As with TCP Connection Time, it’s not just Azure in Oceania, it’s IBM Cloud too.

It’s by monitoring your API from the end user perspective that you can see exactly performance users are experiencing from different location. Everything looks great from AWS and Google.

But what about Azure and IBM Cloud?

twitter api tops social 5

Process Time interestingly doesn’t show much variation by cloud, but it does by region. North America is very much the quickest here and South Asia the slowest, although by nothing like as much as the extra latency Azure user are experiencing.

But it’s clear that though Twitter is a first rate API and has some latency components are well-optimized such as DNS Lookup Time, there’s definitely work to be done in understanding why there are major issues with TCP Connection Time and Handshake Time for Azure (and IBM Cloud) in some regions.

twitter api tops social 6

API Analysis: Tops in Overall Quality

Week Ending 3 May 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

GitHub

9.46

COVID-19

covid19api.com

9.50

Search

 

Microsoft Bing

9.37

Social Networks

 

Twitter

9.77

UK Government

 

Met Office

8.74

US Government

 

Department of Justice

9.87

Messaging APIs

 

Square (Sandbox)

9.71

Twitter in the Social Networks category takes the overall title this week with a CASC score of 9.77. A CASC score of over 9.00 is very good and one of 9.50 or more exceptional. Three of the seven categories are headed by organizations with a CASC score of 9.50 or more this week, the same as last week. Sustaining a CASC score of >9.25 over a period of several weeks is a good showing and congratulations to those organizations that achieved it. This week, six out of seven categories are topped by an API with a CASC score of 9.37 or more.

API Analysis: Top Performers by Latency

Week Ending 3 May 2021

Category

Organization

Median Latency

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

Google openID Connect

103 ms

COVID-19

WHO

91 ms

Search

 

Duck Duck Go

132 ms

Social Networks

 

Google

56 ms

UK Government

 

Police.UK

71 ms

US Government

 

Department of Justice

106 ms

Messaging APIs

 

Slack

276 ms

Police.UK in the UK Government is the fastest API this week with a median latency of 71 ms. An important caveat: medians can be misleading! An API might have a fast median latency but produce many slow outliers. These won’t affect the median, but they mean that users can experience many calls that were unacceptably slow. So just being fast isn’t everything. You have to be reliable too if you want to have good APIs and get a high CASC score!

API Analysis: Worst Quality

Week Ending 3 May 2021

Category

Organization

CASC score

 

Corporate
Infrastructure

 

SendGrid

 

7.37

COVID-19

nubentos.com

6.83

Search

 

Nobody under 8.00!

 

Social Networks

 

Foursquare

 

7.47

UK Government

 

NHS

6.57

US Government

 

Environmental Systems research Institute

 

5.59

Messaging

 

Nobody under 8.00!

 

 

Environmental Systems Research Institute in the US Government category takes the overall bottom spot again this week with a CASC score of 5.59, down from 5.95 last week. Two out of the seven categories don’t have an API outside the Green Zone and thus don’t appear in the table, down from three last week.

See you again in a week as we deeper into May. Don’t forget to look out for our monthly report forApril and the weekly and monthly financial API reports. We will also be publishing special reports on the State of the APIs in the 2020, so that’s something else to look forward to!

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