Apple has acquired the app search and discovery platform Chomp in order to rebuild the way that apps are searched for and discovered on the App Store, reports MG Siegler of Techcrunch. The acquisition should help to rectify issues that many have finding new apps on the App Store that are of value. Updates below.
Chomp has several deals in place with other company’s that will apparently remain in place for now, but with the team and product transitioning into Apple hands, both those deals and any standalone products will be shuttered.
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Apple apparently bought the team and the tech behind the company out specifically to use in overhauling the App Store’s search and recommendation system. The terms of the acquisition aren’t known yet. But it’s likely that the deal was fairly lucrative for the Chomp team. Just a few days ago, 9to5Mac reported that Apple was looking to perform improvements on the iTunes Store and App Store later this year. This new report seems to mesh with that.
Chomp’s product centered around its iPhone app for the first part of its existence, but expanded out to include an API that was implemented by other apps and various app search sites. This is a great grab for Apple, who’s App Store experience has been suffering from a lack of discovery depth more and more as it builds its library of apps.
Many developers understand just how important being on a ‘top 20’ list of some sort in the App Store is. Once you fall off of the list, it’s like falling into a black hole, with download numbers dropping off precipitously.
The App Store’s search engine is also fairly anemic, with a simple keyword-based search that often fails to deliver results without just the right application of language. There have also been many issues lately with App Store rankings being gamed and the top lists being crowded with imitations. Hopefully Apple can use Chomp’s technology to help fix these issues.
We covered Chomp’s ‘social discovery service’ for apps early last year and found their ideas to be fantastic. Chomp has been backed by various investors including the VC firm BlueRun Ventures, a group that has Waze, Topsy and Ganji all listed within their company portfolio.
Update: Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Chomp to All Things D. Apple gave the publication its usual reply to these situations, saying that it “sometimes acquires technology companies and generally doesn’t discuss its plans.”