Mozilla’s Firefox has been in the works to create a strong app store for quite some time now, a process that is vital to the success of the company’s OS and phones. However, according to VentureBeat.com, Firefox’s editorial and campaign manager Scott DeVaney has released news that the Firefox Marketplace has now reached 5,000 apps.
This being the case, Mozilla is still encountering some of the same problems other premature app stores do–they need a way to promote the really good apps, and conceal the less-desirable ones. Part of the answer to this problem, via DeVaney, lies in audience curation of apps.
DeVaney spoke about what this method of app curation might look like to a user. According to the conversation, he said it will be a separate space at the app store that has a slightly different look and feel than the home page of the Firefox Marketplace.
“It would be giving people a playground, and letting them rate and review apps, letting people vote the best app reviews up to the top,” he told VentureBeat. “It’s creating a space that’s a little less polished than the homepage [of the app store].”
DeVaney is no stranger to curation. Before Mozilla, DeVaney managed a team at Apple charged with creating the promotional language around iTunes, App Store, and iBookstore content.
Some of the approaches Firefox is taking to achieve this necessary curation include apps based on geographic location of its users, as well as lists of “best apps” by people who have a special interest in a certain class of apps, such as productivity apps or games.
The company’s ideology behind this is that the best people to promote apps are not the people who make them, but rather the people who have used them.
“We’re really trying to democratize app discovery,” DeVaney said at a retreat for app developers last Friday, via VentureBeat.
While some app stores look to solely use algorithms and automation to identify good apps, DeVaney believes number crunching is a limited approach. “Analysis only takes you so far in predicting the next hit,” said DeVaney.
“I could have a staff of 100, but I still wouldn’t know what people in a little village in Nairobi are going to want, or what the people in the village 100 miles away will want,” he continued.
DeVaney is set to reveal the new crowd curation features in Mozilla’s app store “very soon.”