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7 Famous Apps Built on Node.js: Reasons and Benefits

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Around one decade back (in 2009) when Ryan Dahl (the original developer of NodeJS) released the initial version of NodeJs nobody could have imagined that within a short period Node will gain so much popularity and it will become the top priority of small to large enterprises for building backend services of their applications. Today most of the developers are aware of the hype and popularity of NodeJS. It has helped a lot of companies to build various applications such as social media apps, video and text chat engines, real-time tracking apps, online games, and collaboration tools. 



You will be surprised that a lot of applications, you are using in your day to day life are built on NodeJS. If you are curious to know about these application’s names then we would like to present a handy list of famous companies using NodeJS for their apps. Before that let’s have a quick introduction. 


What is NodeJS?

NodeJS is an open-source javascript runtime environment. Earlier javascript was only useful in building the client-side application but today the power of Javascript reached the server-side and you can build the backend services of your application using Node. It is lightweight, scalable, fast and very comfortable for developers to work with. To know more read the article, Introduction to NodeJS


Biggest Companies Using NodeJS


1. PayPal

Today everyone is familiar with the name Elon Musk. PayPal was co-founded by Elon musk and it is the largest and most popular online payment service in use. With more than 200 million users and 100+ currencies, PayPal decided to migrate their application from Java to Javascript and NodeJS in 2013. 

Why NodeJS? 

PayPal’s engineering teams were segmented into those who coded for the browser(using HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and those who coded for the server(using Java) and that was a big problem for them. So the ideal solution was to use the single language Javascript for both the browser and the server. According to Jeff Harrell, Director of Engineering at Paypal, 


“Node.js helps us solve this by enabling both the browser and server applications to be written in JavaScript. It unifies our engineering specialties into one team which allows us to understand and react to our users’ needs at any level in the technology stack.” 



  • The app was built almost twice as fast with fewer people
  • With 33% fewer lines of code and 40% fewer files (in comparison with previous Java-based application) the application become much more lighter.
  • Doubled the number of requests served per second and at the same time decreasing the average response time by 35%.


2. LinkedIn

The biggest social networking platform for business and employment also relies on NodeJS. LinkedIn has 450+ million members in over 200 countries and territories. In 2011 LinkedIn decided to move their mobile-app backend from Ruby on Rails to Node.js 

Why NodeJS? 

Performance efficiency and scale were the primary reasons for the company to switch to Node.js. In one of the interviews, Kiran Prasad (VP of Product) said… 

One reason was scale. The second is, if you look at Node, the thing it’s best at doing is talking to other services. The mobile app has to talk to our platform API and database. We’re not doing massive data analytics. Node showed us huge performance gains compared to what we were using before, which was Ruby on Rails.


Benefits: When LinkedIn moved to Node.js, it was still premature, but the organization benefitted immensely from this move. 


  • They’ve freed their resources and reduced the number of servers from 30 to 3.
  • Doubled their traffic capacity, and the app works up to 10 times faster on the client-side.
  • They speeded up the development process: the team who were working individually for frontend and backend merged into one single team


3. Netflix

We believe this application doesn’t require any introduction. The world’s biggest global provider of video streaming including movies and television series, available in over 190 countries. Netflix has reached to more than 130 million (167M in present) subscribers in June 2018. The application has to handle all the requests and approx 1 billion hours of weekly video data streaming. The team decided to choose NodeJS for the whole user interface. It was so effective, that the company wants to use it also in other layers of the stack. 

Why NodeJS? 

The Netflix team wanted a lightweight, modular and fast application. They wanted to decrease the startup time for the application. Speed and load time was a critical aspect to consider in case of a high traffic video content provider like Netflix. Their frontend was already written in Javascript so the team wanted a perfect and quick solution. Node was the perfect solution for them and developers already knew javascript so it was easy for them to learn runtime environments within a short time. Node also has a lot of modules so instead of implementing some features, these modules helped developers to get the job done quickly. 



  • The startup time of the application was reduced by 70%.
  • Speed up the development process because of single languages used for both client and server side.
  • Enabled user customization.


4. Uber

Uber is one of the ever-growing online application that connects cab rides to customers in need of transportation services. It operates in 60+ countries and 404 cities worldwide (as of April 12, 2016). Uber is one of the first three companies that put NodeJS into full production. 

Why NodeJS? 

The company has been doubling its size every 6 or so months in the last two years. Data processing capabilities are the main concern for the company and Uber required an extremely fast and scalable cross-platform technological solution that can handle the enormous amount of notifications and requests. Node.js was the exact solution for the company to build its massive matching system


  • NodeJs has a feature that it handles asynchronous I/O requests with a non-blocking, single-threaded event loop. This great feature is well suited to distributed systems that make a lot of network requests. The technology makes the services capable of processes lots of information quickly and reliably
  • NodeJs is also excellent for quick iteration. It provides quick error analysis and almost instant code deployment; programs get scanned through and new code deployed in no time.
  • Constant technology improvement due to open source community.

According to Uber’s Senior Staff Engineer – Matt Ranney


“One of the things that make Node.js uniquely suited to running in production is that you can inspect and change a program without restarting it. So very few other languages offer that capability. Not a lot of people seem to know that ability exists, but indeed you can inspect and even change your program while it’s running without restarting it.”


Benefit: Uber is now able to process over 2 million remote procedure calls (RPC) per 1 second; even when challenged to withstand high spikes of traffic. 


5. Groupon

This popular e-commerce company connects consumers with local merchants. The company offers discounted gifts and virtual coupons that let the buyers try out new services in their area. Groupon has nearly 48.1 million active customers, offering services in 28 countries and 500+ cities worldwide. In June 2015 the company decided to migrate its whole web and mobile traffic from Ruby on Rails to NodeJS. 

Why NodeJS? 

In 2012 company realized that the previous tech stack (Ruby on Rails, Java, and Php) was rendered obsolete and it was quite complicated to maintain the application. The simplest task was taking months to implement and that becomes the main reason for replacement. NodeJS was a great solution for their problem and it took almost one year to overcome all the problems that they were facing in the process to finally finish the transition. Read the list of reasons mentioned by Sean McCullough, a former Senior Software Engineer at Groupon. In short, mainly it was… 


  • Vibrant community
  • NPM!
  • Frontend developers know JavaScript
  • Performant enough
  • Easy scaling (process model)

Benefit: This project became largest production deployments of Node.js of all time. Groupon states… 


“We’re serving the same amount of traffic with less hardware compared to the old stack. Teams can deploy changes to their applications independently. We’ve been able to make the site-wide feature and design changes much more quickly than we would have been able to with our old architecture.” 

In a comparison of Ruby on Rails page, web pages got faster by about 50% and are able to serve much higher traffic


6. GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a well-known domain registrar and web hosting company founded in 1997. The company manages more than 78M domain. Initially, the website was written using C# and SQL server but later the backend was migrated to fully open-source Node.js-based infrastructure. 

Why NodeJS? 

Antonio Silveira, GoDaddy VP Engineering, was asked the reason behind choosing Node instead of using Apache he explained… 

When you have a few parallel projects — like we all have — you can host multiple sites in the same Apache server. Not a big deal. Now, let’s scale that a little more: let’s say you have 100 sites with multiple domains each. Then things start to get a little more complicated for you to manage, and probably you will have to manage multiple servers as a single one may not handle all the traffic combined.”


According to Stephen Commisso, Senior Software Developer at GoDaddy using Node it’s easy to build the quality application, deploy new features immediately, write unit and integration tests easily, REST easily. Another key feature is NPM access. 

Benefit: As per the statement given by Vice President of Engineering, Antonio Silveira… 


“We are now using about 10x fewer servers to host our customer websites and we reduced the Time To First Byte (TTFB) considerably from ~60ms to something around ~12ms. Performance is a key differentiator when we talk about web applications, including a better position in Google’s search results.”


The application is now able to handle the same load with only 10% of the hardware



Isn’t it an unexpected name in the list of Node.js examples? Well, reading the name of NASA in this list might be surprising for you but NodeJS has helped the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to keep their astronauts safe. Bringing our species to space is a hell of a task, the system is expected to provide much security to people in the vast and unfriendly vacuum as it is possible and NodeJS helped in saving the life of astronauts. 

Why NodeJS: 

In 2013 a dangerous incident happened with one of the NASA astronauts Luca Parmitano. His spacesuit started leaking water into his helmet and NASA did the investigation for that. Turned out it was not a simple task either, due to the system’s architecture that was in place at the time. NASA found out its data to be scattered in many locations. After this incident, NASA decided to build own end-to-end data system and they migrated to NodeJS. NASA moved everything in a cloud and constructed a Node.js enterprise-scale architecture. They used web API to link two environments. 

Benefit: According to Node.js Foundation case study, it helped them to achieve… 


“The system he is creating uses a microservices architecture with separate APIs and applications built in Node.js to move data related to the EVA spacesuits from three separate legacy databases to a cloud database. Now users can query that one database for everything, reducing the time to access a comprehensive set of data by about 300 percent.” 


Are You Ready to Build Your Application on Node?

Are the above major examples were enough to inspire you for choosing Node for your next application? 
Are you facing a lot of issues with your current project tech stack just like the examples mentioned above? 
Then why not choose Node for your project… 

Well, these were just 7 applications we have discussed. Several other big names include Walmart, Yahoo, eBay, Mozilla, Medium, Trello, Citibank. Now you can’t deny the fact that Node is continuously becoming a preferable technology for multiple companies. NodeJS features allow developers to use it in a variety of projects. It is fast, simple, performant, and scalable and it provides a good solution for many projects. Most of the developers work on Javascript and if you know javascript then learning Node will be a piece of cake for you and this is the best thing about learning Node. You won’t have to put effort into learning any other server-side language.

Last Updated : 30 Sep, 2022
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