It’s a bottom bar that sits in apps across the network. When you tap it, a menu of other apps pops up. The company, which had been running an App-O-Day product that promoted one app at a time, is shifting into this new model. They’re not charging any app makers to participate and Xplode is a basic SDK that developers can drop into their code.
“This isn’t spammy like interstitial ads. It’s something that feels more native to the operating system,” said Andrej Nabergoj, the company’s CEO. “We want to connect apps together and build a trustworthy network.”
The platform, which is opening up today, has about 120 developers and 600 apps connected. They’re also building certain targeting capabilities, so that app makers can promote their work to paying users of other apps.
Xplode is the latest iteration in a long list of attempts to “fix” app discovery on iOS and Android. When Apple’s app store originally launched, it centered around lists of top free and top grossing apps. Developers would try and game these charts by paying for a number of downloads that would push them to the top.
Over time, this became less effective as the store got more crowded and as game developers got more sophisticated about getting the “right” kinds of users who would stick around and potentially pay for virtual currency. Then major players like Facebook emerged with app install ads and targeted social discovery. Game-specific networks like Sequoia-backed Chartboost also rose up, with big cross-promotion networks where mobile game makers would trade ad space in their titles.
Iddiction has about 25 employees and has raised $4 million to date from Signia Venture Partners, Comcast, Highland Capital, IDG and Felicis Ventures.