App directory Appolicious buys professional app review site AppVee

They’re like chocolate and peanut butter. Appolicious, an iPhone / Android app review site with social network tools built in, has acquired AppVee, which carries 1,100 professional video reviews, both for iPhone at AppVee.com and for Android at AndroidApps.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Appolicious, whose launch I covered in September, is based in Chicago and has ten employees scattered about. AppVee, based in Orlando, Florida, has fewer than ten, also geographically distributed. Founder Alex Ahlund will stay on, but all AppVee staff will become Appolicious employees.

In a phone interview, Warms and Ahlund said no sites will be shuttered, and no employees sent home as a result of the deal. Instead, they have plans to infuse Appolicious’ social network with professional video reviews, and AppVee’s reviews with social network tools.

Warms, a former Yahoo vice president and general manager for news, tech, and education, told me in September that he expected there would be more than a million iPhone apps before too long, and that Appolicious was built with that level of scale in mind. The site’s best feature is its curated app pages, lists of hand-picked apps posted by members (My favorite: Dogster founder Ted Rheingold’s best apps for people with dogs.)

AppVee’s strength is its professional reviews, such as this one of the Engadget iPhone app. Crowdsourcing is great in theory, but paying people to choose the apps they feel are most worth reviewing, and to shoot videos of them, has resulted in better content. “It’s not just our own special expertise,” Warms said. “It’s the people we call hyperaffiliates helping us out with the content.”

“We’re looking forward to adding a social aspect to the deep sort of reviews we carry,” Ahlund said. “A consumer will be able to go to the new AppVee, and watch a video review delivered by one of our professional reviewers. They’ll be able to see who else owns that app. If it’s, for example, a first aid app, they can see who has curated an app list for first aid, to see if that app in made the list.”

But Ahlund and Warms promise that the merged sites won’t become an oversize sprawl that’s about everything and, therefore, about nothing. “We look at things that are getting press, top lists,” Ahlund said, explaining why he has only 1,100 reviews among over 100,000 apps. “Then we evaluate presentation, and decide whether it’s worth the user’s time.”

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