When Facebook unveiled the Timeline and Open Graph at f8 last fall, it had formally announced its intentions to enter the app platform race. Now it’s tightening up those efforts by finally introducing an app store or catalogue of sorts, the App Center. Prior to this, you could find official Timeline apps on the Timeline page or use Facebook search — both of which were a sorry excuse for app discovery.
App discovery has been an incredibly lacking experience on Facebook. The site’s search function is frustrating to say the least, and the App Center is a much-needed addition – especially if it plans to sell itself as a platform worth developers’ time. Which is clearly does: the company’s blog posts and news announcements from the last six months are riddled with success stories touting the leverage of its app platform.
All things considered, then, the App Center should help to further this progress. According to the Facebook developer blog, “The App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga. Everything has an app detail page, which helps people see what makes an app unique and lets them install it before going to an app.”
Another necessary update: I need to know what exactly I’m installing before I install it. The all-too-brief explanation users currently get isn’t even the bare minimum of information I want before giving an app access to my Facebook account. This is what the app explanation currently looks like:
And this is what it will look like:
Developers will now have the ability to create more thorough listing pages for their apps, and if an app is mobile only Facebook will direct users to the Google Play marketplace or iOS App Store.
It’s been a long time coming, and the App Center should start rolling out within the next few weeks.