Facebook just announced that it is launching a new App Center—but it is not just for Facebook apps.
9to5Mac reported for months that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company were planning a web-based alternative store to Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play dubbed “Project Spartan.” Speculation said the project is a framework for apps that would use social hooks, while working inside of Facebook’s ecosystem.
It seems those reports are ringing true, because the highly-anticipated HTML 5-based App Center will give Facebook users access to iOS, Android, web, mobile web, and desktop apps. Interestingly, Facebook reiterated that it is not competing directly with Apple or Google, because the App Center will send users to both the iOS and Android platforms. For example: If you are visiting Facebook’s App Center on an iPhone, and then enter Words with Friends, or one of the many Facebook-compatible games, you will soon beam to that app’s App Store page for installation. The same holds true for Android users.
“In the coming weeks, people will be able to access the App Center on the web and in the iOS and Android Facebook apps. All canvas, mobile and web apps that follow the guidelines can be listed. All developers should start preparing today to make sure their app is included for the launch,” explained Software Engineer Aaron Brady in a Facebook Developer’s blog post.
Facebook’s apps are going to be “personalized,” according to VentureBeat. The social network is also introducing free and paid apps, but it views in-app purchases as the primary way for developers to earn money for now. Facebook will even feature a new star-rating metric based on user feedback, and it will gather data on how often users visit, engage, and stay in an app. Those combined scores will determine an app’s total quality, which app developers can use to improve their product.
It is worth mentioning that Facebook has an existing app directory, but it pales in comparison to what the social network is unveiling today. The app directory released in 2009, but started to fade out nearly a year ago—probably to make room for the new App Center.
“For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga,” Brady added.
Brady also encouraged developers to visit the App Center’s Guidelines Developer page for more information on getting started with the App Center.
This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.