Mobile

Famigo makes it easier to discover family-friend mobile apps on Android and Apple

Famigo launched a review site that makes it easier to discover family friendly Android apps in July. Now it is adding support for Apple iOS apps today. The Family App Review is a web site with app reviews that makes it easier to discover mobile content that is appropriate for your kids.

All of the reviews on the site are written by humans and are curated to feature the best kid-friendly apps, games, eBooks, and other apps. The site has its own search engine for apps that allows parents to search by category and age group.

The “power search” feature is pretty useful because you can enter the age of the child. Then you can check off whether you want an app that “appeals to a wide audience,” is “good for road trips,” or is “great for tablets.” There are 14 categories where you can check off what you want, and there are 17 categories where you can exclude features that “contain profanity,” “contain violence,” or has “in-app purchases.”

Q Beck, founder and CEO of Austin, Texas-based Famigo, said in an interview that the site addresses the huge problem of discovery (a common theme at our past DiscoveryBeat events) where there are hundreds of thousands of apps available in the Android Market and Apple App Store. Famigo helps weed out the bad stuff and zero-in on the content that parents want for their kids.

“Parents don’t want to be the taste testers for the apps their children use,” Beck said. “They don’t have the time for it. We want to be the one-stop source for mobile discovery for parents.”

Parents can sign up to receive a weekly email that recommends the best apps for their favorite platform, with the recommendations tailored to their own tastes. Famigo tests each app with its own internal review team. App ratings are determined by a team that scores apps based on topics such as “Ease of Use,” “Educational Value,” “Entertainment” and “Family Usefulness.” Each review has a link to the store so that you can purchase the apps directly.

The scores from each category are calculated and processed through an algorithm that draws on user analytics and research to mirror how families make their own choices. The reviews  tell you what’s cool about the app and what’s “drool,” or bad. The web site is free for users. Famigo makes money through an affiliate partnership program with Android. If you purchase a game or app after reading a review, Famigo gets a share of it.

Beck said that about 40 percent of the site traffic comes from organic searches. The company has done a little advertising, but most of its traffic is coming from parents sharing the information with their friends.

Beck and Matt Sullivan co-founded Famigo in 2009. Rivals include CommonSense Media, Appsfire, Appolicious Family, and Bloom Worlds. Famigo tries to do a better job with all-human reviews and by getting reviews up fast. Famigo has marketed its site at the “mommy bloggers” who share tips for busy parents. The company has six full-time employees. Funding hasn’t been disclosed. The company was incubated with Austin’s Capital Factory incubator.


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