Searching by Function: App Search v Web Search

Posted: July 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Chomp, Google | No Comments »

This year I was invited to speak at the Wharton Global Alumni Forum in San Francisco to talk about Apps and why we are so excited about them at Chomp. It was a tremendous honor to be one of the 50 speakers selected from the 86,000 alumni of the Wharton School. My presentation focused on three points:

  1. Explosive Growth in App Downloads and Usage
  2. Differences Between App Search and Web Search
  3. Chomp’s Advanced and Innovative Algorithms for App Search

Explosive growth in App Downloads and Usage

Apps have quickly become the window through which we consume content. The IDC predicts 183 billion mobile app downloads by 2015 and analytics industry leader Flurry reports that Consumers Now Spend More Time on Mobile Apps Than the Web. Just like the early days of the web, algorithms are needed to manage the explosive growth in and help users stay afloat and navigate the unending sea of apps.

Differences Between App Search and Web Search

The differences between App and Web search number far greater than what they have in common. Rather than searching by keyword, users search primarily by function or category when looking for apps. Web pages have a sophisticated link structure, apps do not. Expected results for the same query, have drastically different expected results on web as compared to app search; consider a search on Google for social networking and a search on Chomp for social networking. As a result, very different algorithms are needed to tackle the problem of App Search.

Chomp’s Advanced and Innovative Algorithms for App Search

Unlike Google, Yahoo, and Bing, Chomp is the first search engine built from the ground up for apps. Our sophisticated machine learning and natural language processing algorithms understand your query beyond just the keyword, Chomp understands the topic in which you are interested. When you search for to do list, we understand that you are interested in managing your time and remembering to complete various tasks. Chomp returns a wide array of apps to help you achieve this goal, not just apps named “to do list”.

In my talk I step through the above three points in more detail and of course end with some app recommendations. Make sure you check out:

  • Findmytap – the best way to find your favorite beer on tap nearby
  • Foodspotting – a great app for finding foodie worthy eats wherever you are
  • Strava – for logging and tracking your bicycle rides.

Above all I work at Chomp because I love and am passionate about apps and the very positive impact they’ve had on us all. Can you imagine your life without a checkin on Foursquare? How many hours have you spent hurling angry birds? No matter how hard I try, I can’t even get lost anymore. The full presentation can be found here and happy app searching!

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