King Features, Mobilewalla Launch Weekly App Column

Hearst Corp.'s King Features Syndicate has joined forces with Mobilewalla to spread the word about cool or useful new apps through a syndicated column, published three times a week and distributed directly to consumers' mobile devices or computers beginning October 16.

The columns will highlight popular apps as measured by Mobilewalla's scoring system, which ranks every app in the marketplace on a range from zero to 100, with ratings and descriptions. King Features says  early response to the new syndication offer has been good, with newspapers such as The Houston Chronicle, Portland Oregonian and Tucson Star signing up.

One column, titled "Fastest Moving Apps of the Week," will focus on apps enjoying the biggest increase in downloads that week; another two weekly columns, titled "Weekly Category," will focus on the most popular apps in various categories -- for example, including sports, fashion, holiday, travel, parenting, and so on.



Mobilewalla measures every app available in the Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows 7 stores. The score is computed with an algorithm that takes into account user ratings, position within category, and volume and consumer sentiment within social media networks. 

The mobile app universe continues to expand at a breakneck pace, according to separate data from telecom analyst consultancy Ovum, which predicts that the total number of mobile apps downloaded per year will jump from 7.4 billion in 2010 to 18 billion in 2011.

The marketplace is also shifting, with Android apps set to surpass Apple apps for the first time this year: Ovum forecasts 8.1 billion downloads for Android apps, versus 6 billion for Apple. By 2016 Ovum forecasts Android app downloads will rise to 21.8 billion, versus 11.6 billion for Apple. 

The app marketplace is also potentially lucrative, at least for developers that hit on a winning formula. The value of the mobile app marketplace will top $9 billion this year, according to Compass Intelligence, and $36.7 billion by 2015, according to Canalsys.

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