Facebook's new "App Center" launched today is a new place for its over 900 million users to find social apps from the web and in the iOS and Android Facebook apps. "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," posted Aaron Brady.
The App Center gives developers an additional way to grow their apps and creates opportunities for more types of apps to be successful.
"All canvas, mobile and web apps that follow the guidelines can be listed. All developers should start preparing today to make sure their app is included for the launch." Facebook said.
App Center won't list every available app, just the ones with the highest customer ratings, engagement, session length, and voluntary sharing. App Center dynamically shows you different apps depending on your habits. If you play games, that's what you'll see. If you think those are a waste of time and only use utility apps like BranchOut or Open Graph apps like Foodspotting, those will be what appear.
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.
Success through the App Center is tied to the quality of an app. "We use a variety of signals including: "a user ratings, session length, return visits, frequency of user shares from the app, similarity to apps you already use, usage by friends, and spam reports as well as overall user counts," to determine if an app is listed in the App Center," posted Aaron Brady.
To help developers monitor user feedback, Facebook also introducing a new app ratings metric "Insights" to report how users rate their app over time.
"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," he said.
To grow your mobile app through the App Center, your app needs to use Facebook Login.
"All developers should create an app detail page. The page is required for being listed in the App Center, and it will also become the new destination when non-users search for your app on Facebook. You can create an app detail page in the App Center section of the Developer App. There you can upload images, provide additional details, and configure the permissions your app requires," Brady said.
"App detail pages that are eligible for the App Center will be reviewed prior to being listed and priority will be given to those apps that submit before May 18."
Facebook said, to support more types of apps on Facebook.com, "we'll give developers the option to offer paid apps. This is a simple-to-implement payment feature that lets people pay a flat fee to use an app on Facebook.com."
Here're a few more details on the App Center:
- Facebook's App Center homepage will likely show apps recommended based on those you already uses; apps frequently used by friends; lists of top, trending, and highest grossing apps, big "app of the week" style features, and the ability to browse by app category.
- Unlike the Apple App Store and other marketplaces, Facebook's App Center won't have objective rankings. Instead, each user will see a different set of apps, so it won't have the same "king-maker" potential. This should lead developers to focus on general quality rather than install count or other specific metrics.
- Facebook is not trying to compete with iOS and Android, but rather helps Facebook-connected apps on those platforms grow.
Facebook has also filed a sixth amendment to its S-1 filing to IPO. Here's the full S-1 amended filing: