Facebook has been going through a great deal of transition in the past year, from a new, timeline-based profile page, to the beginning of movie rentals, to a great video chat option in partnership with Skype. But one of their most consistent offerings has always been apps, with games like FarmVille and Mob Wars leading the way. Even though there are a ton of apps for users to get involved with, they haven’t taken off in quite the same way as they have on smartphones. Facebook is poised to change that, with the launch of their brand new App Center.
Launched on Thursday, the Facebook App Center will act as a catch-all for the social apps Facebook offers. It’s designed much like Apple’s store, other than the fact that all of the apps available on Facebook are currently free of charge. That will probably continue, though consumers may be asked to purchase bonus levels or resources during gameplay on some of the apps, and Facebook will begin to allow paid apps to link up with their incredibly popular social media service. More than 900 million people currently use Facebook, and the company expects more and more people to take advantage of apps with the launch of their App Center.
Aaron Brady, a representative from Facebook, is clearly proposing this App Center is the new go-to place for developers to find visibility for apps. He pointed to some of their largest successes, such as Draw Something, Spotify, Viddy, Battle Pirates, Bubble Witch Saga and Pinterest, all of which have pulled in large new audiences through Facebook interaction. The App Center can be accessed online through user’s computers, or on mobile devices powered by either Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS software. Though it was launched on Thursday, it will take the next couple of weeks for all users to be able to access it.
When it comes to what apps will be available in the App Center, the decision will mostly boil down to user interaction. They will give the best visibility and placement to the most used and most effectively designed apps. And they will have a minimum quality standard that developers will have to meet. Developers interested in listing their app will design a detailed description page about the offering that can be accessed on Facebook and available to general online search and discovery. Facebook expects those detail pages in house on May 18th, so it may very well take until a week or two later to see all the apps in the Center.
It really is perfect timing for Facebook. As of now they pull in 15% of their revenue through app and game payments. The top few games make up the majority of that money. And the social media network takes 30% off the app developer’s gross. With the impending public stock offering, increasing this already successful revenue stream is a savvy move. It could prove to be a reliable way to monetize the customer who uses his smartphone as the primary social media management tool, and tech journalists have so far celebrated the announcement. Continue reading this post ->