Facebook announced Wednesday that it will launch an App Center where users can browse “high-quality” mobile apps that integrate with the social-networking site, reports PC World.
The App Center will host apps that work on Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems and the web. However, users will have to go to Google Play or the App Store to download the apps.
According to The Huff Post, the App Center isn’t yet open to users. Facebook is currently calling on developers to review guidelines and submit data to the hub so their apps can be featured. There will also be an option for developers to submit paid apps to the App Center.
“Before creating your app detail page, read the guidelines to ensure your page does not get removed. App detail pages that are eligible for the App Center will be reviewed prior to being listed and priority will be given to those apps that submit before May 18,” Aaron Brady of Facebook said.
According to Facebook Developer Blog, “well-designed apps that people enjoy will be prominently displayed. Apps that receive poor user ratings or don’t meet the quality guidelines won’t be listed.”
“Success through the App Center is tied to the quality of an app. We use a variety of signals, such as user ratings and engagement, to determine if an app is listed in the App Center,” the blog said.
Facebook also explained in an interview with Venture Beat that the center isn’t intended to be an App Store or Google Play competitor.
“The App Center will send traffic to both the iOS and Android platforms,” writes VentureBeat. “If, for example, you’re browsing Facebook’s App Center on your Android and you click a link for a plant/zombie game, you’ll be taken to that app’s Google Play page to install it.”
According to CNET, the challenge, for a platform like Facebook, is that it has to build a store on top of these other existing stores. It is especially challenging to build on top of the Apple App store, which remains the only legitimate channel for users to get apps onto iOS devices.
Facebook introduced it new App Center on the same day that the company filed an amended S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission that expanded the company’s description of the risk posed to its revenue model by users’ growing preference for mobile, rather than desktop, access.
The filing warned that Facebook’s current failure to monetize mobile users posed a financial risk. The filing cited efforts to improve mobile apps as part of the company’s strategy.
“If users increasingly access Facebook mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers, and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected,” the filing said.