• 08.05.11

Eric Schmidt-Backed Quixey Helps You Dig Up Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Apps

Name a digital service you want, and chances are there’s an app for that. If only you could find it. Quixey, a specialized search engine, wants to help.

Eric Schmidt-Backed Quixey Helps You Dig Up Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Apps

The app world is a messy place: millions of apps floating in the cloud, never receiving attention. It’s also incredibly fragmented, with apps developed for myriad devices and platforms–your smartphone, tablet, computer, social networks, and browsers. That makes it hard to find the apps you need. Quixey wants to end the headaches for developers and consumers alike with an app-specialized search engine.


On Thursday, the Mountain View, California startup–which has raised $400,000 in seed funding from Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors–got closer to that goal, with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare integration. Apps developed on the APIs for these social networks are now searchable via (The Quixey engine now boasts an index of apps from about 20 platforms.)

A cofounder of Quixey, Tomer Kagan, explains “A lot of apps on Facebook [for example] don’t even have a description attached–just a name. From a search perspective, if all you have to work with is like three words, it’s extremely difficult.”

With the market growing exponentially, that problem could worsen significantly. To put it in context: today, Twitter boasts more than 1 million apps; Facebook some 500,000. In Apple’s App Store, there are 400,000 apps. In the Android Marketplace, 300,000. On top of all that, you have to consider apps developed with hot APIs like: Twilio or SimpleGeo in telephony and geolocation; APIs from well-known sites like Yelp and Dropbox; newer social networks like Google+; browsers and a full array of mobile devices and operating systems.

Quixey’s search technology cuts through the clutter by mining data and app-related keywords. It culls the web for blog posts, app reviews and top 10 lists about apps, also scouring social media, including Twitter, for mentions. “Anywhere you are, you can describe whatever you need,” Kagan says, “and feel the level of comfort you do with Google to know there’s going to be an answer.”

[Image: Flickr user mikeywally]

About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.