Content discovery is a new hotspot for web-based services and mobile apps. There’s no shortage of app recommendation tools, restaurant search apps, taste-based music discovery services, etc. But Australian company Discovr is doing something different from most of the others in the field, by not just targeting one niche, but instead applying their content discovery approach to a wide variety of subjects.
The company announced 2 million downloads of its Discovr apps last week, led by Discovr Music, the first in the series which came out in early 2011, and it also introduced its latest app, Discovr People, which helps you identify social media connections by searching users on Twitter and finding out who they interact with most. People is Discovr’s fourth app and adds to the existing pool of Discovr Movies, Discovr Apps and Discovr Music.
Discovr founder and CEO David McKinney told BetaKit in an interview that Discovr People was a natural next-step for the company, based on their own personal needs. “Previously we’ve been all about discovering *things*,” McKinney said. ‘But we noticed that we spend most of our time interacting with *people* so we wanted to find a good way to do that. Twitter is one of the most interesting and up to date people data sets, so we just looked to find a way to make sense of that and turn it into something that would be useful for others to use.”
McKinney says the interesting thing about Discovr People, compared with services like Twitter’s own suggested users, is that it reveals the vast differences between users and who their connection graphs link to in terms of their actual interaction on the service.
“I think one of the things that is the most fascinating to me is how people are connected and the clusters of people that we see,” McKinney said. “Some people act as wormholes that transport you across the whole graph. Others are classic hubs that sit at the centre of twitter universe.”
People is impressive as a standalone app, and has the dynamic, visual interaction that’s made Discovr’s other offerings so popular, but it’s only one part of the company’s larger strategy of applying its paradigm to other areas; not via half-measures, however, but in ways tailored specifically to every situation.
“Right now we’re developing the Discovr codebase so that each of the apps feels rich and dynamic,” McKinney explained. “Then we apply that to different sets of data, and customise the code and UX to make sense for that particular data set. Our next app is already in development right now.”
Building new apps not only helps Discovr extend its reach by targeting new audiences, but it also boosts the profile of their existing software. “We definitely see interaction effects among the apps,” McKinney said. “As one app goes through a growth period (e.g. due to a new version or similar) we’ll often see an increase in the other apps (downloads, sharing, or general engagement).”
Discovery is something that just about everyone is trying to figure out; Apple recently bought Chomp for its app discovery prowess, and eBay acquired Chris Dixon’s Hunch back in November. If Discovr can continue its steady progress and become a brand of note when it comes to finding new and interesting avenues for consumers to explore, it’ll have plenty of opportunity to either leverage that into partnerships with brands or become a prime acquisition target.