Will Facebook’s App Center Answer Their Mobile Prayers?



Facebook has announced their new app center.

From the Facebook Developer blog

Today, we’re announcing the App Center, a new place for people to find social apps. The App Center gives developers an additional way to grow their apps and creates opportunities for more types of apps to be successful.

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.

The App Center will apparently be driven by some strict quality control measures and high ratings for apps will be the way that apps get promoted. If you are not meeting the standard you won’t get the audience.

That’s all well and good but let’s jump to the meat of this offering. It’s about mobile and considering the latest mobile confessions from Facebook we may be getting to just how important this move could be for Facebook. The blog post continues

Driving mobile installs

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.

This is a way for Facebook to monetize the mobile user that could take pressure off ad sales for mobile which seems to have Facebook a bit jittery these days.

So how could apps make money for Facebook since many will be free? Well, they all won’t be

Paid 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.

Facebook is getting creative and they are seeing that moving forward in the world of social won’t be a walk in the park. Once they are public the curtain will be pulled away to reveal either the real Wizard of Oz or the little man pulling levers and yelling into a microphone.

Facebook is admitting that monetizing mobile through ads will be rough. People are not going to want to wade through ads on a small screen to get to updates by their friends. They just won’t. It’s the problem with mobile. Too little real estate to pay the bills.

Developers, however, will be attracted to this system as noted in a VentureBeat post. This could be an effective way to get Facebook energized in the mobile space.

As a developer, you’d naturally see a lot of opportunity from integrating with Facebook. You might get more users, you might get better data. And eventually, you might see Facebook paid apps and Facebook Credits as a nice path to monetization, as well. And when developers monetize via Credits, Facebook wins to the tune of 30 percent.

By entering the app world in this way Facebook is opening the door to other ways to get money out of mobile Facebook users. It’s something they need to show investors at this moment because the rest of their mobile story may leave investors wanting more.