Appsfire is ditching its renowned app discovery service on iOS and Android in order to shift its business towards its new developer-focused native mobile advertizing solution.

It’s not like the Appsfire apps aren’t popular any more. Across iOS and Android, the company has accrued over 12 million downloads and it still sees 8,000 to 10,000 new users each day. By tailoring its suggestions based on your interests, and serving up exclusive deals and promotions only available within Appsfire, it’s become an invaluable tool for many mobile app junkies.

Just last month, Appsfire launched an SDK targeting app developers, which offered smart, unobtrusive push and in-app notifications, that take advantage of users’ behaviour and location in the physical world.

Appsfire’s CEO Ouriel Ohayon believes that “mobile ads suck” and in many cases, we would tend to agree. Executing apps properly, both in terms of user engagement and advertizing, will only become more important for app developers in the future. By placing its full focus on the issue, Appsfire stands a better chance of breaking through as a key service for developers, and effectively monetizing its new products and services.

Initially, Appsfire is pointing to its new ad unit called SUSHI, which was also announced last month and offers a quick, full-screen ad that users can quickly engage with or dismiss without leaving the current app. Ohayon says its next product, codenamed Ura Maki (or Inside Out), is coming “very soon.”

Goodbye, Appsfire apps

The iOS and Android apps for Appsfire will disappear from their respective marketplace on December 19. Existing users can continue to use the app in its current form, but it won’t be available for new users.

Why ditch these incredibly popular apps? It’s just a matter of focus and resources, according to Ohayon:

“We may bring them back at a later stage. Indeed, we had tons of great ideas on how to dramatically improve the app discovery experience but we’re going to save that effort for now. To be frank, we’re a little bit heartbroken, for our users and for ourselves; but we just can’t ride two horses at the same time and our apps have slowly become secondary to us for a while now in spite of all the recent updates.”

Running a third-party app discovery service isn’t easy either. Earlier this year, Appsfire competitor AppGratis ran into some hot water on the App Store, reportedly breaking some of Apple’s related rules. It was pulled from the App Store in April, the same fate that befell another rival, AppShopper, a year ago.

Although Appsfire hasn’t run into such problems, Ohayon said they haven’t exactly been supportive either:

“While their spartan decision is often warranted with players that resort to shortcuts for easy and fast success, it does not look like Apple has figured out a real way to accommodate true value adding app discovery apps; either because they consider the App Store is “the ultimate solution” (it’s far from being one), or by fear of losing that dominant market maker position.”

So there you have it. The Appsfire apps for iOS and Android are effectively being shuttered, and the company is doubling down on native mobile advertising.

➤ Looking ahead: Farewell Appsfire apps, Hello Appsfire Ads [Appsfire blog]