updated 08:44 pm EDT, Wed May 9, 2012
Social network looks to become center of social app world
Today, Facebook announced its new App Center, a portal on the social network designed for app discovery. The new portal, meant for socially-oriented apps, features an in-depth rating system, providing developers with demographic information on user ratings. Apps highlighted on the App Center cover both iOS and Android, making the App Center one of the only places one can find apps from the competing stores side by side.
Apps featured on the App Center will have detailed individual pages laying out the apps' function. Users can browse apps that are compatible with their device, and apps that require installation on a mobile device will link users directly to the iOS App Store or Google Play.
Developers will have access to in-depth demographic data on app usage. Sample pages from Facebook show app ratings broken down by gender and age range. The App Center will allow developers to offer paid apps, as well as apps including in-app purchases.
Facebook has yet to open up access to the App Center, but the portal is open to developers with apps on Facebook, and a user launch is expected to follow soon. Previously, the social network had sought to bring its app platform to mobile devices through Project Spartan, which wrapped apps in HTML5, allowing them to be used in Apple's mobile Safari browser.