While search engines for mobile app stores give consumers a means to find applications, advertisers gain a direct connection to target audiences by intent.
Mobilewalla launched an app search engine Monday, followed by Opera Mobile Store, to find the hundreds of thousands of apps for Android to BlackBerry to iPhone to iPad to Windows.
The two will not sell applications directly to consumers, but rather pull in information on the applications and link to the originating store to transact the sale. "App stores are tailor made for search," says Mobilewalla Founder Anindya Datta. "It's like going to Bloomingdale's and finding someone eliminated the categorization on the shelves and just piled everything in one huge heap."
Search also gives Mobilewalla a means to determine an apps success, Datta says. The site's built in HTML5-based aims to create a tool to defragment the medium to capture rapidly rising apps and other trends that are not easily identified. Mobilewalla ranks apps from 1-100 based on 114 variables, including the past success of developers creating them. Some are predictor variables such as Twitter mentions and YouTube video likes. The price -- free -- is highly correlated with the success in the Android marketplace, he says.
There are more than 350,000 app developers in Mobilewalla's database. About 95% have published one or two applications.
Mobilewalla will develop an analytics site where developers can pull statistics on downloads for the top apps on particular topics, along with release dates, Twitter mentions, Facebook "likes," and more. The analysis will create an "anatomy" of the application topic to give developers fodder to make rival mobile apps. The service -- not free -- will cost a minimal fee.
While Mobilewalla will never offer paid-search advertising, there's an opportunity for sponsorships on topics and categories, Datta says. Car and Driver magazine, however, might want to show consumers ads on muscle cars. Custom categories might become an option, too. If a consumer types "lipstick" in an apps store, they are interested in finding information about lipstick, making it a great opportunity to capitalize on intent-based marketing and advertising.
Imagine if Mobilewalla could predict the next hot app. The company could buy up ad space in marketplaces such as the Apple Store when it's cheap and resell it after the app takes off. "It's very expensive to buy real estate in the Apple Store, but what if we could develop a program that could tell advertisers the most likely next hot app?" Datta says. "A feature in Mobilewalla tells developers the fastest rising app. We show you a graph on what apps are just around the corner to success."
Aside from Mobilewalla, mobile browser company Opera Software followed Tuesday with Opera Mobile Store, which also offers search functions to find similar applications. The storefront, built through a partnership with Appia and set up as a Speed Dial link in Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers, make it accessible by more than 100 million people who use an Opera browser on their mobile phones.
Opera also launched the Opera Publisher Portal to support the store, providing developers with a way to get their applications onto the Opera Mobile Store. The company claims that during the pre-launch in February the store attracted more than 15 million users from 200 countries, racking up more than 700,000 downloads per day.
Surely the results, basing on location, will give the same search engine results. www.sem.ie Other forms of marketing online like adwords and facebook especially are going to be difficult to facilitate on mobile devices