When we last heard from AndSpot a few months ago, they were starting a private beta of an intriguing new service: a Market alternative that includes social features. In a new press release, they’ve announced that they are nearing launch, and are opening the doors now to developers who’d like to publish their apps on AndSpot. To encourage devs to check them out, they will be giving developers 80% of the revenue generated from paid apps uploaded during a limited time around their launch for the lifetime of that app in the marketplace–10% more than the 70% share they’ll offer after that.
AndSpot will also be providing developers with tools to embed the site’s features in their own websites, as well as an API and analytics tools.
App discovery has long been a difficulty for users of the stock Market app, and this has provided an opportunity for sites like AppBrain and Androlib, whose approach is to piggyback finer filters on the Market’s distribution system. AndSpot takes another approach, creating its own market of apps and enabling app discovery with activity feeds, discussion forums and other social features. Think about how you find great new restaurants or bars by interacting with your friends’ Foursquare and Gowalla feeds; AndSpot wants to apply that to Android apps:
“A key aspect for app exposure is Activity Feeds, which push recommended apps to users. Recommendations are calculated based upon various factors including the activity of a user as well as his or her friends.
“Users can not run out of things to do on AndSpot. They can find friends and then engage in a variety of activity, such as share apps, compare apps, send messages, and view the activities of one another from the profile, as well as discussing apps they have already downloaded (in Discuss). Tweets and Facebook updates can be made from AndSpot. Sharing and interacting with friends about apps live at the core of the Social Marketplace, and has never been easier.”
AndSpot plans to launch to the public in early September. What do you think, do the social features they’re planning appeal to you? Will you use them, either in addition to or instead of the official Market?