ICS Mobile, the creator of the FreeAppADay.com promo site, is readying a new platform known as AppExchange for app discovery, and it has teamed up with the big talent agency ICM Partners to get A-list celebrities to promote its new platform.
The new app, formerly codenamed ProjectX, has been approved by Apple, and it will help apps spread among friends and families in an organic way, said Joe Bayen, the chief executive of ICS Mobile, in an earlier interview with GamesBeat. The app will be available this fall.
FreeAppADay.com has generated a community of more than 10 million users who go to the site on a daily basis to get paid apps for free in one-time promotional deals. But it’s the kind of site that Apple tolerates but doesn’t really like, because this is the sort of site that developers could use pay to boost their apps in the App Store. Apple prefers apps to get to the top of the charts from people finding them on their own, not paid promotions.
Bayen said that the AppExchange will introduce a compelling twist on the app discovery problem that has plagued developers. Those developers can publish easily on the App Store, but their apps can easily get lost among the 800,000-plus live apps in the App Store. The idea is simply to use celebrities to promote the apps they like and to influence users to try them out.
Among the celebrities represented by ICM Partners are Jodie Foster, Katie Holmes, Chris Rock, Eminem, Josh Duhamel, Megan Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, Zoe Saldana, Ellen DeGeneres, Christina Hendrix, America Ferrera, Beyonce, and Lil Wayne.
The ICM celebrities who participate will post on their Twitter accounts about AppXchange a couple of times a month, saying something like, “If you want me to give you some great app recommendations, follow me on AppXchange.” The celebrities can engage with their audience within the AppXchange by recommending apps. ICS Mobile will share revenue with the celebrity when a user clicks on a sponsored link.
French startup AppGratis hit a roadblock when Apple pulled its successful promotional app in April. As app promoters shift away from artificially boosting apps, Apple should be happier. The promoters have a chance to create their own networks where users can promote apps to their friends and family in a more organic way, much like what happens on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Bayen said the new app will let users create their own favorites and share them with friends and family instantly. He also said that the company has figured out a way to monetize the app, and it will shift its FreeAppADay.com users over to it.
“We once more cracked the app discovery puzzle in a meaningful and novel way” said Bayen. “Discovery has become a nightmare for developers and end-users alike. Alongside our partners at ICM, by using crowdsourcing in combination with A-list celebrities, we found ourselves in the unique position of being able to recommend the right app to the right user at the right time.”
Keyvan Peymani, the managing director of the Digital Strategy Division at ICM Partners, said, “Curation at scale and discovery are two of the key challenges we face in digital today, and we are excited to be partnering with ICS to unclutter the app space. We constantly look for the right platforms to help deepen the relationship between our clients and their fans, and through this partnership with ICS, our clients have another way to interact.”