Facebook is inspired by Apple and Google. The Company launched an App Center in the Android and Apple Stores Thursday night. It’s rolling out on three platforms: Android, iOS and Facebook.com on the mobile web itself.
The App Center, which isn't called a store, will launch with over 600 free Facebook apps.
“The App Center is launching tonight with more than 600 social apps, including Nike+ GPS, Ubisoft Ghost Recon Commander, Stitcher Radio, Draw Something, and Pinterest, ” Facebook reps wrote in an email.
“You’ll only see high quality apps in the App Center, based on user ratings and engagement.”
Free for now -- Facebook has announced that some of its partners plan to offer paid apps in the future.
Users who used to search for apps on Facebook using the same search bar they used to find people, groups and events will now be able to search from a dashboard that looks much like Apple’s App Store or Google Play — complete with details and ratings for each app.
It will look a lot like Google Play or the Apple App Store. Each app will have a detail page, which includes a five-star user-rating system, sections for recommended apps, friends’ apps, top apps, trending apps and top-grossing apps
Difference between Apps built on Facebook and apps with Facebook integrations
Apps built on Facebook are web apps viewed and used within the Facebook site. They get a special page within Facebook where they load. On the other hand, apps with Facebook integrations such as Draw Something and Pinterest are built on external platforms, but they interface with Facebook for login and other social features.
Facebook has been clear that the App Center isn't meant to compete with app stores from Apple or Google. Rather, "it sends traffic to them," Facebook communications manager, Malorie Lucich, told ABC News. According to Facebook, it drove users to the Apple App Store 134 million times in May. And the App Center will only increase that.
Each app has a landing page on both the website and within the Facebook mobile app, which contains images of the app, a rating and an install button so you can install it to your own Timeline. If you're on a computer, it will also have a "send to mobile" option for those apps that also have mobile versions. If you view the store on your phone, there will be a button that takes you to the download page of that mobile app.
Why would Facebook launch something like this?
As Facebook engineer Aaron Brady included in a blog post, “The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook — whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web.”
Facebook wants developers to build mobile apps that integrate with it. Reaching Facebook’s 900 million users through the App Center is another incentive for them to do so.
Facebook will also presumably take a 30% cut of the purchase price for upcoming paid apps built on Facebook.