After launching its App Center for users in the US around a month back, Facebook has now made it available in seven additional countries including India, as part of its global rollout. So the next time you login to your Facebook accounts, expect to see the App Center bookmark in the left navigation menu on the Facebook website and apps (iOS and Android).
The App Center basically helps users to discover all kinds of apps. And when we say all kinds, we mean even the ones built for iOS, Android and the Web. Apps are listed based on user feedback and the App Center orders based on what a person is most likely to use and the popularity in their country.
Both Web and mobile apps are offered in a number of categories (that are further divided into sub-categories) that include games, entertainment, lifestyle, music, news, photo and video, sports, travel and local and utilities. The apps can be further filtered according to top rated, highest-rated and most used apps. Filters are also available for top-grossing apps, or with the most in-app purchases, and trending apps that are growing rapidly. Last we checked, Texas HoldEm Poker was both the top most rated (with 32 million players) and the highest grossing app, while Baseball Heroes was the most trending app.
The App Center also offers Suggested Apps, which are basically personalised app suggestions for you and Friends’ Apps, which include the apps that your Facebook friends have used recently.
Also, even if users are browsing the App Center from their computers, they can send a mobile app to their phones. When we tried sending a mobile app to our smartphone, we were greeted with a message that read ‘Enter your cell phone number’ and we will send you a link to install the application on your iOS or Android device. For a better experience, please either activate SMS or download the Facebook application for iOS or Android.’
Once we entered the mobile number, a download link was instantly sent to our phone that redirected to Apple’s iTunes app store (considering we were using an iOS device), from where we downloaded the app and could use it. The simple fact that Facebook redirects users to the respective install page in the iTunes app store or Google Play means that the company is not actually competing, rather collaborating with them. It is probably due to this reason that most of the top apps of iOS and Android have already integrated with Facebook.
Some of the popular apps available in the App Center include Instagram (no surprise there), Foursquare, Quora, Pinterest, Rotten Tomatoes, EA Sports and FIFA Superstars.
The company has also launched a new localisation tool for developers with which they can localise their app’s information (according to the market the app is targeted at). They can select a primary language for the app, select additional languages and provide translated content for the app.
The other countries in which the App Center has been launched include Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and South Africa. Additionally, Facebook will be adding countries like Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey to this list.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)