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Hunch Exports Taste Graph Via API, Business Model Emerges

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Recommendation engine Hunch is rolling out partnerships with seven large sites to provide personalized recommendations for their products, services, or content. Interactive Corp’s Gifts.com, Bluefly, Buzzfeed, Heyzap, ShopStyle, Milo and FanBridge are the initial partners, and Hunch says more will be announced shortly.

“These companies will either build applications that reside on Hunch.com, embed Hunch functionality within their own sites, or both,” says Hunch.

The partners will us a rebuilt-from-the-ground-up API to show personalized recommendations to users, says Hunch CEO Chris Dixon. The Hunch website itself is built using the same API that is being made for partners.

This also gives Hunch a potentially lucrative revenue model. There will be a free version of the recommendation engine that most partners will use, But ecommerce sites will share revenue generated from purchases recommended by Hunch.

“Our whole business is centered around the API,” says Dixon.

Dixon says that the company spent the first year or so after launching in learning mode, building out the data and finding connections. Now they have enough data, and 20 billion “connections” to be confident in making recommendations to people on just about anything at all. Cofounder Caterina Fake made similar statements when I interviewed her earlier this year.

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