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Facebook To Launch App Center

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Social network explains how to get your app displayed prominently

Facebook has announced App Center, a new application hub for users to find apps for the social network on the web and on iOS and Android apps.

Mobile, web and canvas apps are all eligible and Facebook claims that it will give “developers an additional way to grow their apps and creates opportunities for more types of apps to be successful.”

App Center of the universe

“The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook – whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web,” said Facebook in a blog post. “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.”

Free, freemium and paid-for apps can be submitted, but developers will have to ensure that their app uses the Facebook Login. They will also have to create an App Detail page which lists information, screenshots and required permissions.

A rating system will ensure that good quality apps will be promoted, while those that receive poor ratings will not be listed. Criteria such as user rating and engagement will be used to determine an app’s position, while developers will be given tools to see how their products have been rated over time.

Developers must adhere to a set of guidelines in order to be listed and Facebook recommends that developers begin preparing to ensure that their app is ready for the launch. All App Detail pages will be reviewed before they can be listed and priority will be given to those submitted before 18 May.

Popular social apps on Facebook include Spotify and Pinterest, along with games such as the Zynga-developed Farmville. Some 200 million of Facebook’s 900 million users currently play social games and many pay to buy virtual goods. Fifteen percent of Facebook’s revenue currently comes from Zynga from processing fees and advertising.

The App Center will attempt to fend off competition from Google, which recently began introducing games onto Google+. Google says that it will only take a five percent cut from any payments made to developers, significantly less than the 30 percent that Facebook currently receives, but the fledgling social network is unable to match its competitor’s user base.

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