Social network Facebook has launched an app destination page, called ‘App Center’, to enable users discover and browse through apps, available on the platform. Facebook is essentially launching its own app store, complete with detailed descriptions and paid apps. Making the announcement on its Developer Blog, the social network has asked developers to start preparing their apps for the App Center by adding information related to the app along with icons and screenshots, and permission settings, so that they’re included in the App Center, as it is rolled out to users on the web, and on the iOS and Android Facebook apps, in the coming weeks. Facebook has also announced that in addition to apps that already feature in-app purchases, it will allow developers to offer paid apps, under a Beta program.
Aiding discovery: The app store will certainly help developers in reaching out to more users, as it will offer a centralised place where apps would be listed in categories, unlike the prevailing situation, where apps are scattered and the user is either re-directed to one through a fan page, a website or through search. It will also reward developers who make apps that users like, and comply with Facebook’s guidelines. According to Facebook, “Well-designed apps that people enjoy will be prominently displayed. Apps that receive poor user ratings or don’t meet the quality guidelines won’t be listed.” Of course facebook will take a call on whether to list the app or reject it, following the submission.
The App Center will also list websites: If a website uses Facebook logins to offer a personalised experience to users can also list as apps on the Facebook App Center, provided that they automatically login users after they arrive on the website from the app detail page. For example, a music streaming service can list as an app.
Rewarding Mobile apps that integrate Facebook: Interestingly, in addition to Facebook apps, the app center will also list web, iOS and Android apps that use Facebook logins, and will redirect users to respective mobile app stores – iTunes App Store and Play Store, for downloading native apps.
Also introducing new app ratings metrics: Facebook has said that it’s also introducing new app ratings metric in Insights (Insights offers Facebook app developers with metrics on the performance of their app), to report how users rate apps over time, to help developers monitor user feedback.
So Facebook is also complementing mobile app platforms in addition to web apps and websites. However, the focus is on creating and promoting its own eco-system, since these need to incorporate Facebook logins, sharing information with the network.