Facebook Launches App Center Store
After weeks of rumors, Facebook has finally introduced its app center. Available on both the desktop and on mobile devices, the app center allows users to easily browse Facebook apps. The apps are organized into different categories, including by interest, top rated, trending, and top grossing. Facebook also recommends apps for a user to download based on apps they currently use. It also provides the user with a list of apps their friends are using.
I think the inclusion of an app center is a very smart move by Facebook, though I’m not sure why it wasn’t done sooner. Previously, when a user was looking at apps on Facebook, they’d simply get a list of apps their currently allowing access to. To find an app, a user would actually have to search for it in their browser. You can correct me if I am wrong here, but as far as I know, this was the only way a user could add an app to their Facebook account. The new app center will be available to users on the left hand menu underneath “apps”. The bookmark will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks.
One thing that has always surprised me about Facebook is its use outside of the newsfeed, profiles, and photos. There really are no main pages for Pages, friends, and groups. I am wondering if the inclusion of this app center will move Facebook towards building something out for each section. If Facebook really wants to stay competitive, I think these are necessary. Imagine a page that includes a directory and updates from each of the Pages you follow, or an easy way to organize and see your current friends. I know these capabilities are within your newsfeed and profile, but neither really give you a good overview of each specific item.
A question I think many have: Is Facebook trying to compete with iTunes? Personally, I don’t think so. Facebook has long had apps, and there has never been a way to easily browse all of the apps available. Without this functionality, it really doesn’t make sense for Facebook. I would be interested to see how this affects the number of apps available and the overall time spent on apps in the future.
Finally, I think this is on of many ways Facebook will be trying to increase their profitability and favorability with investors, especially on the mobile end.