Betaworks latest experiment, Homescreen, has added app profile pages to the platform, letting users see how popular the app is on various Homescreens, important people who are using it, and other apps that either share a drawer or a homescreen with that particular app.
“The App Store is a black box,” Homescreen co-founder Matt Hartman tells me. “We want to make it easy for people to take steps toward finding a new app, and giving as much transparency as possible into the data we have is the best way to do that.”
On the App Profile pages (you can see an example here), you can see not just the top four or five most popular apps that are also on the homescreen with that app, or in the same drawer, but Homescreen shows the long-tail results. In fact, for both drawers and homescreens, app profile pages display at least 48 similar or related apps.
“We wanted to go beyond the no-brainer apps and give people a window into the Indie apps,” said Hartman. “And it’s based on actual user data.”
Beyond similar apps, the profile pages also display the most followed people on Twitter who have that particular app on their homescreen, along with those who first had the app, and those who have recently downloaded the app.
For those of you who are just now tuning in, Homescreen is a product developed out of betaworks that was originally meant to measure metrics around betaworks products. By using image recognition to decipher the data from images of people’s homescreens, which turns out to actually be a thing on Twitter, the startup studio could get real data on the performance of their various products.
But given the current state of app discovery, the idea of using that data to offer better insights to users on the apps they should have or care about seemed like something to put more energy behind.
Homescreen launched with a barebones version of the product last month. Users could upload a screenshot of their homescreen to the app and then get a shareable link that they could post to Twitter, showing their homescreen and giving app descriptions whenever a user hovers over any given app. Today marks further steps toward evolving the product into a platform where people not only share their app style, but people discover what they should be using every day.
Betaworks says they have over 25,000 apps that are uniquely identified on the platform, which may seem small in the context of the whole App Store, but seems meaningful in terms of simplifying app discovery.