Facebook Launching App Center to Rock Social Mobile and Web Apps

Facebook introduced its upcoming App Center, an app store of sorts where developers can showcase their apps for the social giant's platform--focusing on iOS, Android and mobile Web apps.

Facebook announced that it is launching a new developer site known as App Center, where users can go to find social apps.

Essentially, the App Center will be like an app store, a place where developers can grow their apps and users can discover them. In a May 9 blog post, Facebook software engineer Aaron Brady said the new App Center will give developers €œan additional way to grow their apps and creates opportunities for more types of apps to be successful.€

Brady said the center will be available in the coming weeks for users on the Web and those with iOS and Android devices.

€œFor 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,€ Brady said.

However, the new Facebook App Center is all about discovery. And quality is what gets noticed, Brady said. €œSuccess through the App Center is tied to the quality of an app,€ he said. €œWe 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.€

AllThingsD said of the new App Center:

"This is a big deal for building out the future of the platform. Part of what will determine just how much time users spend inside Facebook is the amount of content they have to play around with, and the company relies on outside developers for that. The unveiling of the Open Graph at Facebook€™s F8 developer conference last year was the first step in this direction, making it easier for third-party developers to fully integrate their applications into the Facebook ecosystem. Then came the different verbs with appropriate apps€”like "Listening" with Spotify and "Watching" with Netflix€”broadcasting user activities across Facebook, thereby upping the potential for others to try out those third-party apps."

The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook, whether users are on iOS, Android or the mobile Web, Brady said. €œFrom 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.€

Facebook also is giving developers the opportunity to offer paid apps with a €œsimple-to-implement€ payment feature that enables users to pay a flat fee to use an app on Facebook.com. The company is beta-testing the paid apps program and developers can sign up here.

Brady said developers should create an app detail page in the Developer App section. These pages help people understand what makes an app unique, see screenshots of the experience and log in to start using the app, according to the Facebook App Center guidelines. After a user authenticates from an app detail page, they€™ll be sent into the app, whether it€™s on Facebook, a Website or a mobile app. App detail pages are required to be eligible for listing in the App Center. They will also become the destination page when non-users search for an app on Facebook, the company said.