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Video: Ben Keighran, Co-Founder of app-discovery behemoth, Chomp

Ben Keighran is Co-Founder of one of the hottest Silicon Valley app startups I’ve come across, Chomp. The primary focus for the company is to significantly boost app discovery, initially on the iPhone platform. One of the key facts that Ben and co-founder Cathy discovered during their initial research was that people tend to download apps as a result of the recommendation of a friend or a trusted third-party.

If that’s the case, reasoned the team, why not make it easy for me to see the apps that my friends are downloading and rating? Further, why don’t we make it stupid-simple to quickly rate any app we want to — and browse a firehose of other ratings? And wouldn’t it be good to deliver personalised recommendations based on the ratings people submit? While we’re at it, why don’t we take a supremely lucrative affiliate revenue stream from any purchases made as a result of giving people access to this kind of information?

That’s Chomp. It’s utter, utter genius.

To rate an app, you simply search for it and either click the red heart (“love”) or the black and broken heart (“no thank you”) and provide an optional 60 character comment. Done. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the live app reviews section which is buzzing 24/7. One of the rather cool features is the ability to ‘follow’ other users — and if you’re wondering what apps Kevin Rose or iJustine are enjoying, just click on to the ‘app celebrities’ section and follow them. You’ll get updates every time they rate an app. There’s also the obligatory ‘top reviewers this week’ which shows that giantdolphin50 is way out in the lead with over 800 ratings. The last thing he loved? The Whole Foods Market Recipes (“If you really like 2 eat healthy, this is the app 4 u”).

Chomp launched on the 1st of January this year. Ben and his team were hoping for a modest amount of traction and perhaps a few thousand ratings from the odd new user to get them started. Within 7 days they’d garnered 111,000 ratings. I didn’t ask, but I imagine the Chomp team were, as we say in London, ‘properly shocked’ at the way users reacted. Before they knew it they’d been featured — twice — on the App Store’s top 25 hot apps section. Fast forward 31 days and they’ve done over a million ratings already, ensuring Chomp is well on its way to owning the discovery segment and making the dreams come true of application developers around the planet.

Step forward please, the makers of the 2do App. I’d never heard of it until I saw somebody rate it as a ‘really good to do list application‘.

“I’ll have that,” I thought. Baam. It was paid for an on my device. Likewise ‘Air Sharing’ and ‘ConvertBot’.

If you’d like to see what I’m rating, I’m ew4n on Chomp. Add me!

Right then, let’s have a look at Part 1 of the interview with Ben. I strongly recommend watching, particularly if you’re a developer or at all interested in mobile applications.

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