Heyzap is expanding its offerings as a mobile platform provider. At first, it enabled users to “check in” to their mobile games to tell their friends what they’re playing. Now the company is analyzing the check-in data to offer free recommendations of Android games.
If Heyzap helps game developers find users and helps users find new games amid the masses of offerings in mobile app stores, there could be some serious money in it for the San Francisco company.
“We think we can deliver Netflix-style personal recommendations that users will appreciate,” said Immad Akhund, co-founder of Heyzap, in an interview. “No one else is attacking game discovery in this way.”
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Other companies such as Flurry offer game recommendations based on user purchases and other activity. But Akhund said Heyzap believes it can come up with more accurate recommendations because it takes into account how often you check in with a certain game. If you play that game seven times a week, Heyzap is more likely to suggest games that are similar to that title.
An iPhone update will come later. Heyzap uses collaborative filtering to predict which games you’ll want to play next. It takes into account your play history, including how often you play a title. If you have been checking into Millionaire City by Digital Chocolate, Heyzap will make a recommendation to you based on data from people with similar gaming tastes. The more you check in, the more accurate the recommendations. Heyzap also looks at what your friends are playing.
Heyzap, which focused previously on monetizing flash games on the web, launched its first mobile check-in app back in March, and its software development kit is now designed into 310 games. Heyzap has powered millions of game installations and Akhund said that it doubles the rate of app downloads a user makes.
Heyzap is also adding location information for its check-in data. Users can see what their friends are playing and, if the user grants permission, they can also see where people are playing games. That could be useful for people who want to play in tournaments or multiplayer sessions.
Heyzap has raised $3 million from investors including Union Square Ventures and Naval Ravikant of Angellist in 2010. It also raised $650,000 in 2009 from the same investors. It was founded in September 2008.
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