On Thursday evening, Facebook launched its App Center, a hub for over 600 Facebook-connected apps that underscores the social network’s growing importance as a platform for third-party companies.
The App Center is Facebook’s answer to the multiple app marketplaces that have been launched such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play. It marks the first time the social network has offered a centralized database of apps that features personalized app recommendations based on each user’s interests and circle of friends.
Each Facebook user will see a unique storefront on the App Center, with the selection determined by her interests, the apps her friends use most and which apps have the highest ratings. The App Center also emphasizes Facebook’s focus on developing a more robust mobile experience for its users.
The electronic storefront, which not only accessible from Facebook’s website, as well as through its iOS and Android apps, includes both mobile and web apps in ten categories, including games, entertainment, music and utilities. It’ll be like checking your Facebook status’s combined with playing on a video game console.
There’s also a dedicated “Facebook” category promoting the social network’s own apps (Apple’s App Store doesn’t include an “Apple” category. Neither does Google’s, though the web giant has plenty of its own Android apps). App Center will list only “high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who use the app,” Facebook wrote in a blog post. With friends, rather than reviews, as the core organizing principle behind the App Center, Facebook is flexing its muscle as a social discovery engine and upping the value of going viral.
Facebook’s app center is now available for everyone to join. Enjoy another expansion in the social network.