Facebook had a press conference in San Francisco, last night where they announced the launch of their App Center. They announced App Center last month, which they said will be a hub for social apps. The App Center has launched to users in the United States and will be rolling out globally shortly. The App Center can be accessed on iOS and Android devices using the Facebook app and even from Facebook.com. Users can buy apps on the desktop site and send them to their mobile devices. iOS and Android users will receive updates to the Facebook applications on their mobile phones when the App Center is made available to them.
The hub comes to us soon
Upon launch, the App Center contains over 600 social apps including Nike+ GPS, Ubisoft Ghost Recon Commander, Stitcher Radio, Draw Something, and Pinterest. The App Center will be personalized for each user, providing application recommendations based on the apps that the user already has and that his or her friends are using. App categories, include games, fashion, food, fitness, travel, and other lifestyle apps. Facebook says, “You’ll only see high quality apps in the App Center, based on user ratings and engagement.“
Facebook also released the following stats about user application usage:
- More than 230 million people play games on Facebook every month.
- More than 130 games on Facebook have more than 1 million monthly active users.
- More than 4,500 timeline apps have launched since f8 in September 2011.
- Facebook drove people to the Apple App Store 83 million times in May.
- Facebook drove people to iOS apps 134 million times in May (someone who already has the app and is directed back to it from Facebook.)
- As of May, seven of the top 10 grossing iOS apps and six of the top 10 Android apps have integrated with Facebook.
The Facebook App Center is another way in which Facebook can monetize their mobile platform. After having been given flak from potential investors pre-IPO that Facebook's mobile platform doesn't have any ads or a way to monetize, Facebook recently announced that they will be bringing Sponsored Stories to their mobile apps, which introduces their first mobile ad platform. The App Center will contain paid apps and of course, there will be a revenue share system between Facebook and app developers. It's also interesting that Facebook launches essentially an application retail system when they're also developing their own mobile phone. It seems the social network is taking mobile domination to the next level, which is, becoming the mobile itself.
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