Los Angeles -- In its quest to try to figure out the growing mobile space, social networking leader Facebook, on Thursday night officially unveiled its mobile App Center, a collection of free social applications for both the Web and mobile platforms to its nearly 1 billion users, so they can find games and other applications with social components more easily, positioning it as a win-win for users, developers, and even iTunes and Google Play.
At a slick media event in San Francisco, the social media giant Facebook took the wraps off its App Center live, in addition to unveiling a handful of previously undisclosed features.
On the whole, the App Center launched with 600 social apps, including Nike+ GPS, Ubisoft Ghost Recon Commander, Stitcher Radio, Draw Something, and Pinterest. Facebook previously announced plans to launch the App Center a few weeks ago, when executives mentioned that the first, preferred apps would emphasize quality. Pictures of the App Center leaked out earlier on Thursday.
“The app center constitutes a novel way for users to discover social applications,” said Douglas Purdy, Facebook's director of developer products, who exhibited the App Center at a launch party in San Francisco. Plus, he says, it gives developers a way to reach Facebook's more than 900 million users. Facebook was responsible for 83 million visits to the Apple App Store in May, Facebook said.
Popular tech blog, TechCrunch has been able to obtain some screenshots, which indicates toward some important but unsurprising social elements to the App Center. The new App Center, if you have not heard, is Facebook's way to display not only Facebook-specific apps but also mobile apps that feature Facebook Login. The App Center would not house any of these mobile apps, but instead point users in the right direction--whether that be iTunes of Google Play.
The App Center, which allows users to access from the left-hand navigational menu on their Facebook landing pages, will present personalized app recommendations based on an individual user's interests and previous activity. The apps can also be searched by category, such as “games” or “lifestyle.”
And below, you can see what each app's info page will look like. You can also see a nice little page with images of friends using the app, another indicator that Facebook is going to rely heavily on social data to promote the apps in their App Center.
However, not all users will have be able to access the App Center right away; as the social media company will implement a gradual rollout, although on a quicker pace than its launch of Timeline, a Facebook spokesman said. Only U.S. users will be able to access it, at least at first.