Appsfire submitted version 2.0 to Apple for entry into the App Store, but in the meantime, the company has released a new way of finding apps. Instead of solely relying on recommendations from friends, Appsfire now offers recommendations on your next downloads with a popular app tracker called AppTrends.It's been 75 silent days since iPhone app sharing service
The introduction of AppTrends comes alongside announcements that ex-Jaiku co-founder Jyri Engestrom has joined on as an adviser and that the company has received a new round of funding from Lerer Ventures.
AppTrends is the first live ranking of iPhone apps outside of the App Store, according to the company. The rankings are determined by looking at Twitter and seeing what apps people are talking about most. The service looks at iTunes URLs (even those shrunk using URL shorteners like Bit.ly) contained in tweets, ranking not only by the number of mentions but also by the influence of the Twitter user. The list of apps, which currently sits at 20 but will soon expand to 100, updates every hour and shows how apps have moved up or down in the listing in the last one, 12 and 24 hours. In addition to the listing, clicking on each app will show what people are saying about it on Twitter. For each, a link is provided to preview the app, read a description and download or buy the app.
Aside from offering a list of what's hot to the consumer, AppTrends also looks to provide insight to app developers on why their app is moving up or down in the listing, by seeing what people are saying about the app. According to the company, the App Store ranking is "updated at best once a day" and AppTrends has shown trends quicker than the App Store on several occasions.
For now, the site is just a list of 20 top apps, but soon it will include localization with rankings by country, rankings by category (such as games or health and fitness), access to a history of app rankings and notifications for developers.
Part of what we like most about this new service is that it offers some insight behind why something is popular, beyond Apple says so. Looking at how apps move up and down within the rankings, and being able to see why, is a step beyond a simple list of top downloads. Beyond that, we hope that looking at tweets might move past those simple app rankings provided in the App store, which we can't help but look at with suspicion.