Feeds

Facebook launches App Store Center

It's just a gallery of mobile applications ... for now

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Facebook is launching an App Center to recommend mobile applications based on demographic preferences as well as user ratings, just as long as they're tied into users' Facebook credentials – with a view to monetising the process eventually, of course.

The App Center won't just recommend mobile apps, it will also showcase web-based applications embedded in Facebook and even other websites, as long as they are based around the Facebook logon. Listing will be free, and users will receive recommendations based on their demographic and history rather than blanket star ratings, so the Center will look different to every customer who enters.

Facebook won't sell mobile applications – Apple would never permit such a thing – so users are directed to the appropriate app store (iTunes/Google Play, there's no mention of BlackBerry World) but Facebook is the company telling them what to buy and is now open for submissions.

But Zuckerberg's empire has commercial aspirations for its service, promising "a simple-to-implement payment feature that lets people pay a flat fee to use an app on Facebook.com", which is taking applications for beta testing now. For mobile apps that will have to jump though the app-store hoops, this would probably involve a cut going to Google/Apple, but for applications within the Facebook site it could be a useful source of revenue.

Facebook would love to make some money on mobile applications, it would be delighted to make some money on mobile anything – having identified that mobile users are growing in number but are almost entirely unexploited as far as generating revenue is concerned. Even if the App Center can't make money selling mobile app subscriptions, Facebook might be able to sell premium advertising on it, and should be able to filter out a lot of the kipple which blights the main app stores.

Targeting content based on social demographics, recommending things on the basis that one's Facebook friends liked it, has a bit of a chequered past. Google's social search has attracted more than its share of criticism, while Facebook's Beacon was treated with the derision it deserved, but app recommendations based on demographic as well as social factors and may be an acceptable thin edge of the wedge for consumers looking for the next Bubble Witch Saga with which to fill their time. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.