In a press release, Facebook officially unveiled its App Center a couple of days ago. The App Center is a collection of social applications meant for both mobile and web platforms. The App Center launched with a total of 600 applications including Nike+ GPS, Stacker Radio, Draw Something and several others. The App Center was scheduled to launch a few weeks ago, but technical difficulties prevented the scheduled launch from happening.
Executives of Facebook have stated that app quality should be the first priority for developers. Thursday also saw the leak of several pictures of the App Center. The same executives further stated that not all users will gain access to Facebook’s App Center. They announced that the rollout will be gradual, but will be at a faster rate relative to the rollour of the Timeline. Initially, only users from the US will have access to the App Center.
Facebook’s policy is clearly in trying to promote its apps and also its platform rather than trying to make revenue from the same. With a 490% rise in traffic since its launch, the social networking website will soon shift its attention to generating revenue from its ads and apps. The App Center on the web will have two columns, one showing apps based on popularity and the other displaying the apps used by friends. Each app can be installed as a Facebook application on the online version of the site. There is also an option which allows the user to send that particular app to his/her mobile. App Center will also help in the development of Facebook’s mobile offerings. Although Facebook is not known to derive revenue from the ads on its apps, the user’s activity on these apps is sent back to the website, which can be used to manipulate the ads displayed.
Surveys indicate that a total of 901 million users use Facebook everymonth. Further, a total of 230 million users are known to play games on the site every month. The company claims to have driven people to Apple’s App Store 83 million times in May alone. Facebook also claims to have guided users to iOS apps on 134 million occasions. Usually, most developers decide to launch their apps on iOS first. Android versions of the same follow in the weeks to come. The reason why developers have chosen the iOS platform is due to its immense popularity and lack of fragmentation, which leads to greater revenues. With a unified web and mobile experience, Facebook hopes to capture the same market.