Kara Swisher

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Appolicious Signs Partnership to Integrate With Yahoo

Although serial entrepreneur Al Warms sold his start-up to Yahoo and ultimately left the Internet giant to launch a new one, he is coming back a bit via an interesting partnership.

Warms’s Appolicious is aimed at encouraging discovery and social networking in the mobile apps market.

Now Appolicious will carry Yahoo’s brand at the top of its site and be surfaced throughout Yahoo’s News, Sports and other powerful media properties.

Everything will be co-branded. The words, “In association with Yahoo,” for example, will appear on the Appolicious site.

“I think it is a pretty huge deal in what it means to where apps have gotten in such a short period of time,” said Warms in an interview with BoomTown. “We want to make these apps relevant for Yahoo users.”

Yahoo’s VP for Media, Jimmy Pitaro, said that the deal was struck to make the increasingly complex world of mobile apps simpler.

“We’re focused on making people’s online lives easier,” he said. “Apps are huge, but also confusing to many, so we want them to be in the relevant place they belong and in context for our users.”

A baseball story, for example, might surface various related baseball apps, while a celebrity post would offer very different ones.

The partnership will be a big boost for Warms and Appolicious, given the huge traffic generated by Yahoo’s content offerings.

Warms sold his Participate Media, along with its BuzzTracker content aggregator, to Yahoo in late 2007.

Warms left Yahoo (YHOO) in late 2008 and started Appolicious in May 2009 with about $500,000 in seed funding.

The start-up has since raised another $1.5 million.

Appolicious is kind of a combination of Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo, with some Yelp sprinkled in, but devoted solely to organizing and making sense of the exploding app galaxy in the universe of smartphones.

Right now, the innovative site focuses on iPhone and iPad apps, as well as other mobile platforms such as Android from Google (GOOG). Appolicious plans to add apps for the BlackBerry from Research in Motion (RIMM).

Using premium content, recommendations of friends and people like you–as well as a variety of lists, feeds, popularity rankings, images and videos–the idea is to do what the iTunes Store does not.

Namely, make sense of the plenitude of apps out there, most of which are on the iPhone.

To make that happen, users of the service also can list all the apps they have in an App Library, so others can see them.

Warms’s business plan is largely advertising, including a focus on attracting brands that want to be in front of apps consumers.

Here is a video interview I did with Warms when he launched Appolicious, as well as screenshots of the new Yahoo-branded site:


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