Mobile ad network Heyzap is shutting down its standalone applications, company CEO Immad Akund confirmed to us. The iOS application, which previously served as something of an app discovery service for mobile gamers, is already gone from the App Store, and the plan is to do the same with the Android version in the near future, Akund says.
The company, for background, had originally built a mobile social network for gamers where users could “check in” to games through either the Heyzap app, or, with the introduction of the Heyzap SDK (software development kit), check into games automatically via Heyzap integrations.
Heyzap’s own app was expanded back in fall 2012 with a “play with friends” feature, designed to make connecting with other users easier and more social.
At first, the disappearance of the Heyzap iOS app while the Android version remained looked like something that may have been done at Apple’s request, if not pulled by Apple itself. After all, Apple doesn’t care for apps that compete with its own services, like the App Store – especially when those are used to help promote or market applications in a way that could affect App Store rankings. (This policy change took place in fall 2012, in fact.)
Could it be that Apple was done with letting Heyzap fly under the radar until now?
Akund says that’s not the case, even sending an iTunes Connect screenshot (above) to prove it.
Instead, he explains, the company itself decided to pull down its standalone application because the team hadn’t worked on it in over a year, and the app was now causing confusion about what Heyzap is all about. Plus, he says, the social back-end server costs are high and servers require maintenance. Today, Heyzap’s small team is trying to focus on their current priorities, not this older experience.
The app, however, will still work for now for those who have it installed, it’s just no longer available for sale. Meanwhile, the company is now asking its Android app developers how they want to export their leaderboards and achievement data.
“We…didn’t want to remove the Android app till we have a good solution for them,” says Akhund.
The plan is to keep the back-end servers online for a little while, even after the Android app is pulled down from Google Play, but the company doesn’t know right now how long before those servers would be shut down for good.
These days, Heyzap is no longer focused on its standalone “social discovery” platform for apps within standalone applications. Instead, as VentureBeat recently reported, the real business for the company now involves its SDK, which allows developers to target ads to people who like similar games.
Heyzap currently reaches around 5,000 games, and has around 450 advertisers, including Kabam, Gree, DeNA, King, Supercell, and Spotify, the report noted. And Heyzap is now expanding into other applications, as well, to offer similar personalized recommendations. According to co-founder Jude Gomila, the company has been profitable this year, with a revenue run rate of $13 million-$14 million, and growing. For comparison’s sake, Heyzap was only doing $1 million per year in April 2013, notes Akhund.