StumbleUpon Takes Aim at Android App Discovery

StumbleUpon is about to take its web recommendation savvy and apply it to mobile apps for the first time. The service, which builds personal recommendations for users who want to find web content, is now launching an app discovery feature for Android apps (s goog). The beta feature will be included in StumbleUpon’s updated Android app, which was released in August along with an iPhone app (s aapl).

Android users will not only get recommendations on good web mobile content, but will now get suggestions on apps based on their tastes and preferences. StumbleUpon will look at a user’s profile and their current collection of apps and come up with a list of apps that other similar users have downloaded. StumbleUpon considers the popularity of apps and also looks for apps that are usually downloaded in combination with others.

Garrett Camp, StumbleUpon’s CEO and co-founder, said Android is ripe for such a solution because the Android Market is not well-organized for users who want to do more than keyword searches. “I don’t think they’ve put as much effort into the store,” Camp said. “It’s not very personalized yet.”

Camp said Android was not only more in need of a solution compared to other platforms, but it was also faster to develop on Android: both the actual building and the approval process. The app discovery feature took one month to create, Camp said. An iOS (s aapl) version is in the works, but there’s no time frame for when it will be available.

App discovery in general still needs a lot of work, although Apple has done better than most in helping people find apps. But the lingering difficulty has given rise to third-party providers like Chomp, Appsfire, and AppsHQ, who try to make the discovery of apps easier and more social. The bigger question for StumbleUpon was what took so long to take advantage of the opportunity, though to be fair, the company has been busy lately.

In addition to launching iPhone and Android apps, StumbleUpon has been ramping up efforts to be a recommendation engine for web video. The service is now up to 12 million users, almost five percent of which come from the mobile apps. Expect that number to go up with Android app recommendations.

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