Facebook announces App Center

In a post on Facebook’s developer blog, Facebook software engineer Aaron Brady has revealed Facebook’s App Center, which he said will give “developers an additional way to grow their apps and [create] opportunities for more types of apps to be successful”. Over the coming weeks, the App Center will be accessible on the web and via Facebook apps for iOS and Android.

All HTML5 and apps on Facebook.com have the potential to be listed, and Brady noted the App Center is primarily designed to further grow mobile apps that use Facebook: “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.”

However, success in Facebook’s App Center will heavily rely on metrics. Brady said a “variety of signals, such as user ratings and engagement […] determine if an app is listed in the App Center”, and developers will be provided with updated tools in Insights to improve monitoring. The aim is to ensure poorly rated and received apps aren’t promoted, although this could also scupper discoverability for smaller apps that haven’t built enough of a following.

Facebook strongly recommends developers create an ‘app detail’ page, which is another requirement for being listed in App Center, and Brady added support for paid apps will also be integrated into the new system.

What are your thoughts on Facebook’s App Center? Does it have the potential to be disruptive in mobile apps and gaming, and encourage users to spend more time on the platform? Let us know in the comments.

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