It’s a great time to be a Bubble Developer — between the maturation of no-code and Bubble earning a G2 2024 Best Software Award, professionally building on Bubble has never been more powerful, promising, or exciting.

How do we know? The data tells this story — and we couldn’t just hold onto it for ourselves. We took a look at the last 12 months of internal data to uncover opportunities currently available for professional Bubble Developers. The details show a growing agency sector, an overwhelming interest in artificial intelligence (AI), and an appetite for marketplace tools that strengthen and augment B2B and SaaS projects. In this blog post, we’ve pulled out three key insights that we think might help you win more business.

You’re already a Bubble pro — now, you can see exactly what the rest of the community is searching for, the types of apps people and businesses want to build, and develop a plan to meet the most in-demand market opportunities.

1. A 418% increase in people looking to hire Bubble Devs

Yes, you read that right. Over the last 12 months, we measured a 418% increase in users creating Bubble accounts with the specific intent of hiring someone else to build their app. Meanwhile, we saw a 68% increase in the number of agencies registered in our network  — a modest increase that’s far outpaced by the number of people looking to hire Bubble devs. Translation: Year-over-year growth shows Bubble Devs are in exceptionally increasing demand.

"418% increase in users looking to hire someone to build a Bubble app for them." 418% is much larger in yellow font.

Alongside that increase, data shows:

Those looking to hire are clearly heading to the agency directory and RFP portal to find Bubble Developers. By subscribing to the Bubble Agency plan, teams and freelancers can take advantage of this increased demand to gain visibility, find work, and earn more revenue. (Bubble pros on our Agency plan can also transfer projects smoothly, provide ongoing support for clients, and ensure client apps have paid plan benefits.)

Looking to level up? We’ve got you. Check out our tips on how to become a freelance Bubble Developer or these six steps to win more business.

If you build apps for others but aren’t yet on the Agency plan, make the switch today.

2. Flat rates, new projects, and 3 key services dominate RFPs

When a requester fills out an RFP form, we collect basic information about the project to help match the project owner with a Bubble pro. Through that form, we’ve learned:

More than 70% of people submitting RFPs prefer to pay a flat fee vs. hourly rate

When filling out your own agency profile, consider this data point: most people looking to hire would rather work with a set budget instead of supporting a number of hours at a defined rate.

85% of RFPs are for building new projects vs. 15% iterating on existing projects

There’s a time and place for expanding on or rebuilding an existing project — but if you can demonstrate a successful track record of building new apps from scratch, you may have a leg up when competing for RFPs.

Know your way around API endpoints? Data shows that 21% of all desired RFP services are for help with API integrations. Support for mobile app development comes in a distant second at 19% (ICYMI: sign up to be notified when native mobile app functionality launches), with product design needs accounting for about 16% of all requested services. 

Coaching and custom Javascript are the least in-demand services — but both still see about 8% of all RFPs pointing to this need.

By the way: We recently revamped the Hire a Developer portal to make the system more helpful to end-users and Bubble devs alike — including debuting better matching recommendations. Read more about the new system on our forum.

3. AI rules Bubble marketplaces searches

OpenAI is the most initialized API by Bubble apps as of February 2024 — and on both the template and plugin marketplaces, searches for AI, ChatGPT, GPT, and OpenAI led the search query pack. If you’ve already built templates or plugins that take advantage of these search terms, you’re well on your way to supporting a major growing interest in the Bubble community.

A search bar with "Articificial intelligence" as the query. Above the search is text that reads "#1 API and marketplace trend."

After AI, data shows that the most frequent template searches tend to be familiar app features — not full apps themselves. Some of the most popular search terms include:

  • Landing page
  • Blog
  • Login
  • Form
  • Video
  • Calendar
  • Directory
  • Map
  • Portal

Bubble pros may be able to capture some of this search traffic by building templates that include these features. For example, a travel marketplace can capitalize on the “map” search query, or a scheduling platform can benefit from “calendar” searches.

Beyond distinct features, the next most popular template search terms focus on distinct B2B, marketplace, education, and services categories:

  • B2B tools: CRM, dashboard, SaaS
  • Marketplaces: real estate, booking, travel, Airbnb, rental
  • Education: education, course, learning, quiz, school
  • Services: food, delivery, restaurant

Plus, good news: With recent changes we made to the template marketplace to allow users to search by category, you can (and should!) now officially categorize your templates using many of these terms.

Once again, AI dominated the top plugin search queries — but after that, searches for solutions across data visualization, payments, file management, and integrations tend to round out the most sought-after plugins:

  • Charts: excel, table, CSV
  • Payments: Stripe, payment, invoice, paypal, plaid
  • File Management: PDF, file, upload
  • Integrations: AWS, Instagram, Notion, YouTube

Similar to the template marketplace, by building plugins that solve problems related to these search terms and categories, you can tap into trends to help grow your own plugin revenue.

Let us know what you think

Now that you’ve gotten a look at the data, we’d love to know your thoughts. Are there any trends that surprised you? A data point you wish we covered? A topic that you’d like more information about? Comment below!