Among other announcements today, Facebook finally introduced a search function to its App Center to aid in discovering new Facebook apps. Sponsored Results will also now start showing up when you search the Facebook App Center. Lastly, with the Facebook Gifts event in New York City having been canceled altogether due to Hurricane Sandy, Facebook made the intended announcement anyway to reveal that 11 new charity partners have been added to its Facebook Gifts program. Facebook users can now make charitable contributions on Facebook Gifts to these select charities. Let’s take a closer look at the three announcements.
Facebook App Center search
Just as its important for developers to get their apps visible real estate in the Apple App Store and for SEO marketers to get their sites to the top of Google’s search engine, it’s vital for developers to climb to the top of Facebook’s App Center — search and discovery for new apps is incredibly important to their success. Facebook announced today on its developer blog that the social network is finally rolling out a keyword search engine to help with the discovery of published apps within Facebook’s App Center.
“All listed app detail pages will be included in our search index, and no changes are necessary for developers,” Zhen Fang a manager at Facebook, writes in the blog post. Developers won’t be required to make any updates to apps for Facebook to start indexing them. It should help developers get their apps discovered amid the sea of apps offered to attract some of the 220 million monthly users that visit the App Center.
Of course, it also means it will be easier for user to find apps in the first place. At the moment, the only way to view official Timeline Apps is to sort through this page. And if you want to see all the available apps, you’re left to scroll endlessly. This is a much-needed, update to make the App Center a legitimate platform.
Sponsored Results available in App Center
Facebook made a brief splash with Sponsored Results, which the social network introduced in August. The new advertising product promoted search results in its search engine based on targeted keywords. It enabled third party related apps to be listed, for instance, when you searched Instagram. Today, Facebook announced that Sponsored Results would be coming to the App Center. Developers can, beginning today, promote their apps in the App Center by “targeting Facebook entities, including Facebook Pages, Places, Apps and subscribe-enabled users.” One thing to note about this feature is that it only works on Facebook’s desktop app, and not on its mobile apps.
Gifting charities on Facebook
Facebook’s Gift announcement set to take place at FAO Schwarz in New York City today was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy. It was rumored that Facebook was simply announcing more partners to its program, and for the most part that hunch was correct. Conicidentally enough, the announcement set weeks in advance comes in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane, which Facebook has taken note of:
“We are especially pleased to be launching this test now – when so many people are looking for new ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, or assist those most in need around the holidays,” Facebook product design engineer, Jared Morgenstern, writes in a blog post.
Now you can make charitable contributions using Facebook Gifts to 11 charity partners that Facebook unveiled today. It’s the first expansion of its Gifting platform that now can be used not only for sending gifts for your friend’s special occasions, whether it’s a birthday or an anniversary, but for donations as well.
Some of you may yet have Facebook Gifts, but don’t fret. Facebook is rolling out the feature gradually and Morgenstern assures us that it’s “coming to you very soon.”
You can check out the list of charity launch partners below:
- American Red Cross
- Blue Star Families
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America
- Girls Inc.
- Oxfam America
- St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital