Facebook creates new App Center, aims to promote mobile

Facebook’s created an App Center – not so much a store, but a showcase where users can browse the best Android, iOS, mobile and web apps that integrate with the social network.

Users won’t actually be able to download all the apps from the center – Apple’s policies put paid to that – but will have to go to Google Play or the App Store, as they do now.

However, Facebook will also sell ‘bespoke’ apps through the store, taking a 30 percent cut from developers.

“For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga,” says Facebook engineer Aaron Brady on the company’s developer blog.

Everything has an app detail page, which helps people see what makes an app unique and lets them install it before going to an app.

A fundamental requirement for an app to be included is that it must support Facebook Login – giving the company access to more personal information that it can flog to advertisers.

Others include hitting certain quality guidelines.

“We use a variety of signals, such as user ratings and engagement, to determine if an app is listed in the App Center. To help you monitor user feedback, we are also introducing a new app ratings metric in Insights to report how users rate your app over time,” says Brady.

“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.”

A particular aim is to grow the company’s mobile business – something that the company admitted in a filing to the Securies and Exchange Commission yesterday that it really needed to do.

“If users increasingly access Facebook mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers, and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected,” the filing reads.