We have enough app stores ready to deliver all the digital content we’d be interested in enjoying on our mobile devices, so we don’t really need another one, do we? That’s rather a rhetorical question, especially since Facebook has finally launched its own app store, conveniently called App Center.
However, the store, available at www.facebook.com/appcenter, is not a store in the true sense of the word. Instead, it’s more like a list of “high-quality” apps available on Android and iOS, which Facebook wants you to discover. In case you suspect these apps require some sort of deep, or not-so-deep, Facebook integration, then you’d be right. Facebook plans to use the App Center to help users discover certain popular apps that have a Facebook share feature, and therefore increase the popularity of Facebook.
The more popular the apps, the more popular Facebook should become, and, in turn, the more popular future apps that make it to App Center would become. It’s a vicious circle, not that we’re thinking the App Center is a bad idea. So if you're a developer and you want to see your app up there someday, you should make sure you include Facebook sharing features in it.
So far, only 600 apps and web apps are found in the App Center, but we expect that number to increase substantially in time, although I don’t think App Center will match Google Play or the App Store when it comes to available content. In fact, chances are that you’re already using some of those apps, or that you will be using some of the most popular apps that will be presented in App Center long before they become available in Facebook’s store.
In order to install the apps that you don’t already own, just press that “Send to Mobile” button, at which point you’ll be sent to either Google Play or the App Store (depending on what kind of mobile device(s) you own) on your mobile device(s) to download the app.
It sounds awfully simply and it actually is. Facebook apparently wants to become the middlemen between developers and mobile device users, and while the idea may seem awfully unnecessary, I will remind you that Facebook has over 900 million users, with many of them using the social network on a smart mobile device. Therefore, the company can very well do whatever it pleases to try to boost its numbers and its quarterly earnings. After all, the stock must go back up and stay above IPO levels to keep investors happy.
Let’s hear it from app users and app developer, what’s your stance on this new app store?