Facebook to launch App Center

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App Center will be accessible on computers, Android and iOS devices

Facebook announced it will finally launch an application hub to offer social apps in one place. It is called App Center. The company says developers can start prepping new apps for inclusion immediately.

Among other things, developers will be able to charge flat fees for apps up front, like Apple via the App Store. Currently, the social network takes a 30% cut. Some developers already charge users for in-app purchases, but allowing them to charge for apps outright is new. The new apps will be accessible on computers, Android and iOS devices.

Only apps that meet certain quality standards will be included. Facebook will outline a feedback-based rating system that aggregates indices like “user ratings” and “engagement” to score apps in platform’s performance metric tool, Insights.

“Well-designed apps that people enjoy will be prominently displayed,” explains Facebook, while “that receive poor user ratings or don’t meet the quality guidelines won’t be listed.”

For end users, App Center means one place to browse for stuff, making app discovery more proactive. Instead of depending on word of mouth, media “best of” stories, third-party ranking sites. Users will be able to rifle through a hub that is aggregating and ranking stuff based in part on total community feedback. It also means users will be able to learn more about apps before installing them.

Facebook says every app must have an “app detail page,” designed to let us “see what makes an app unique” before installing and accessing it. That alone should be cause for celebration, in my view, after years of installing Facebook apps and giving them access to various aspects of our personal dossiers just to learn what they are and do.

The App Center will let users browse apps compatible with the device they use.

The App Center is not live yet, but it will launch in the coming weeks.

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