On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it will be launching its own app center, as well as paid Facebook apps. The center will be built into its website as well as the iOS and Android Facebook apps. While the app center may look similar to Apple's App Store or Google Play, it won't try to compete with them and will operate quite differently.
Facebook App Center
In the past, there was no place to browse listings of Facebook apps or mobile apps that use Facebook's login. People mostly find out about apps through advertisements, word of mouth, reading about apps on websites and blogs, and by seeing stories in their news feeds about what friends are playing. Users could also find out about mobile apps that used Facebook Login by browsing the app store on their mobile device. Soon, we will be able to see all of the apps that meet Facebook's guidelines listed in one place.
All apps will have a details page that gives users information about the app and what makes it unique, in addition to ratings. Quality and ratings will play a huge role in the success of an app, as VentureBeat says in addition to gathered user ratings, Facebook will also collect data on user behaviors such as how long they stay on the app and how often they come back to it. Facebook will give developers access to this data through a new Insights report. High-quality apps will be prominently featured in the app center, while those that don't meet quality guidelines or receive poor user ratings won't be featured.
While it may seem like this app center would compete with those by Apple and Google, it will actually work with them. A lot of the apps featured in the app center, such as Words With Friends or Draw Something, are also mobile apps that need to be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The post on the Facebook Developer Blog states:
"The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook – whether they're on iOS, Android, or the mobile web. From the mobile App Center, users can browse apps that are compatible with their device, and if a mobile app requires installation, they will be sent to download the app from the App Store or Google Play."
Paid Facebook Apps
In addition to announcing the Facebook App Center, the blog post also had information about the introduction of paid apps. While apps have long been able to have in-app purchases to make money, all apps have previously been free to use. In the coming weeks, we will begin to see apps that charge a flat fee to use, in which Facebook will receive 30% of the transactions.
Are you looking forward to being able to discover new apps more easily? Can you see yourself paying to use a Facebook app?