Everyone is doing it. Hooked, Heyzap, Openfeint, Applifier, Appreciate, Appsfire, TapJoy, RadiumOne, Getjar, Flurry and Appbrain. It’s kind of sad that all of these guys are dedicating so much time and energy into it. Especially when the solution is so simple and anyone who has 24 hours to spend thinking can solve it. In truth, there are two kinds of companies that are doing it. First, there are the big boys and girls who are already doing PPI campaigns and are adding a touch of personalization to convince both business and customers that they are the best. On the other side, there are the smaller ones who do a good job of actually doing game recommendations (Hooked, Appsfire, Appreciate). As someone who has actually designed a game recommendation system, I can tell you that these three are the ones that you want to reach out to. That being said, they are not fooling anyone by not addressing how they are going to make money. I’m not going to spell out how these smaller players intend do to do so. But anyone who’s in the industry and spends 5 mins thinking about it will quickly figure it out.
Then there is the third kind. The evil/black hats guys. They come at this from the advertising world and their solution is to get at much info about the user as possible. They do so by buying data about users or by buying apps that users will use from where they can collect personal data. This data is then combined with the other data that they have purchased. All of a sudden, a startup with $33.1M in venture funding has tons of data about you. It’s going to be funny what they recommend on Android. Since most of the Internet is porn, are they going to recommend the porn games on Android. I will laugh my ass off if they do, and not be surprised at the same time.
Back to the point at hand, the field is currently divided into two camps: small and accurate on one side and big and faux-accurate on the other.
Here’s a solution: Why don’t the big players buy up one of the small players. At that point, you have a technology that has been designed to recommend a game partnered with the scale of accounts.
Before you bring up RadiumOne; they don’t really count. Focal Labs and PingMe are just ways to scoop up data about the end user.
But really: just buy a small startup. You’ll have a better proposition to the early and late majority without the creepy, big brother image that those users will have of you if you just buy data about them.
Just some thoughts, Happy Sunday!