Facebook launches app store, seeks iPhone magic

Facebook says it is launching an app store that will allow people to get access to social apps on the network, without much heavy lifting. The company made the announcement in a blog post today. The company is hoping that the new app store will make it easy for apps to be discovered  on the platform.

Facebook, lately has been trying hard to make the world aware of its role in the fast growing app economy.

For instance, it has been talking up the success of video apps such as Socialcam  and Viddy, and points to how it has turbocharged the downloads on Apple’s iOS platform. Of course the success of those apps and their post-download usage is debatable, for many view them as spam. In addition, there was been some talk of social news readers losing some traction after a fast start, that has made some question Facebook’s role in the app-economy.

In a blog post on their developer blog,  Facebook’s Aaron Brady notes:

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.

For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw SomethingPinterestSpotifyBattle PiratesViddy, and Bubble Witch Saga. Everything has an app detail page, which helps people see what makes an app unique and lets them install it before going to an app.

The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook – whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web. From the mobile App Center, users can browse apps that are compatible with their device, and if a mobile app requires installation, they will be sent to download the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Facebook is also betting on creation of paid apps and building an ecosystem around those apps.

Many developers have been successful with in-app purchases, but to support more types of apps on Facebook.com, we will give developers the option to offer paid apps. This is a simple-to-implement payment feature that lets people pay a flat fee to use an app on Facebook.com. If you are interested in the beta program, please sign up to receive more information.