Facebook App Center – a new era of Social Apps?
A lot of critics argued that Facebook does not have any money making potential but Facebook has definitely toned down their talk with the launching of the Facebook App store. This store has various applications which a lot of Facebook users already use on the social networking website, but which a lot of other users do not know exist. In a slick event on 7th June 2012, the social media network revealed this store which already had six hundred applications as well as some great features.
Social Gaming has already exploded (over your face[book]?) and will continue to do so
Application developers and gaming corporations that create these applications for the internet and mobile phones are definitely smiling, hopefully all the way to the bank. This is because they have a platform where their products can be exposed to the world without them dishing out millions of dollars in advertising. Some of the applications are of good quality but they have been developed by firms that can never stand up to the giants in the industry when it comes to advertising funds. Fortunately for them, a social networking giant has picked them up and helped to expose them to its 900 million users – the most successful currently being Zynga which generally has at least 1 million users playing their games at any one time. Zynga is current valued at $4.4 billion USD
Some free, some paid
Some of the applications on the app centre are free of charge, but there are others that will require the individual to dig a little into their wallet. This app centre is more of a place to search for applications as opposed to an online shop where these applications are sold and bought. It has given each application its own page which contains details of the application, descriptions, ratings, reviews and screen shots. This will help the user to decide whether the application is really good for them and whether they need it. Furthermore, it displays all the user’s friends on the social media network who have downloaded or purchased that particular application.
Seamless App installs
One of the best features in this app centre is the ‘send to mobile’ feature which allows the user to download the application on their mobile phone if they have an Android or iOS supported mobile phone. Statistics have shown that the majority of Facebook users are switching to mobile phones, and it is great to see that the social networking website is devising new ways of interacting and reaching these users.
Facebook wants to ensure high quality apps get precedence
The app centre does not host the applications and games but instead it helps to highlight them and it then directs users to websites where they can get a download. The app centre is accessible from the navigational menu on Facebook and it will feature recommendations that are specific to the particular member. This will be based on the users’ activity on Facebook in the past as well as the interests they have displayed on their profile. There will also be recommendations based on what most of the user’s friends are using or what they have bought and downloaded in the past. Other recommendations will be based on the applications that are most popular and that have the highest ratings in the App centre.
An App Store for Social
The apps are divided into various categories such as lifestyle, games and travel. The user will be able to go to a particular category and view all the applications present. They can then choose to download the one they fancy for their computers, or to send the application to their mobile phone as long as their phone is supported by iOS or Android.
Examples of applications featured on this app store include the social reader which is a news application, as well as games such as ‘Marvel: Avengers Alliance’ and ‘Words with Friends’. Photo applications such as Instagram, which Facebook is in the process of purchasing are also featured in the app store, and so are sports, travel and video applications.
Rolling out to more and more countries worldwide
At the moment the Facebook App Center has rolled out to many countries worldwide like US, UK and Australia – but not all of them. In time, close to one billion Facebook users all over the world will get the chance to download their favourite applications. Facebook argues that this move is not meant to compete with app stores that already exist such as the Google Play or the Apple’s App Store. Instead, it aims at making the discovery and downloads of applications a social experience. The App centre will ultimately lead to the growth of social applications regardless of whether they are developed on Android, iOS or Facebook.
You can access the Facebook App Center/ Centre at this link: http://www.facebook.com/appcenter