Facebook launches its own app store

Thu 10th of May 2012, filed under Social Media

Central showcase for high-quality apps

Facebook has announced the upcoming launch of its own app store, named the App Centre, which aims to bring together all the best web and mobile applications for all platforms and devices.

Its selection of apps for inclusion will be partly based on masses of social data collected from the activity of its members, which number over 900 million worldwide. Facebook's own apps will feature alongside options for Android and iOS products - though users will be redirected to external sites such as Google Play and Apple's App Store in order to download the latter.

"The App Centre will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga," said Facebook's Aaron Brady in an official blog post.

"Success through the App Centre is tied to the quality of an app. We use a variety of signals, such as user ratings and engagement, to determine if an app is listed in the App Centre."

Improvement of Facebook's mobile strategy

The company has also created a set of quality guidelines which developers must follow, including requirements to draw a clear line between content and advertising; and to be straightforward about the sharing of user activity.

The new facility will include a mix of free apps and tools that users have to pay to download. Developers who create paid-for apps specifically for Facebook will share 30 per cent of the price with the social network - a simple system which is expected to encourage development activity.

There has been speculation that the move is designed to improve Facebook's mobile strategy, as the company has admitted that its lack of progress in the field poses a financial risk with users increasingly choosing mobiles over desktop access. It addressed this issue in paperwork submitted in advance of its initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market later this month.

Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, said: "Facebook has featured apps for a long time but has never before made it easy to find and consider them, unlike Google Play and Apple's App Store. It is a great idea to showcase the best apps for all mediums, as it encourages users to search from Facebook and respect its stamp of approval, rather than go elsewhere."

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