Facebook Launching Its Own Cross-Platform App Store
In coming weeks Facebook will launch an App Center, where users can find social apps that run on its own social network as well as on iOS and Android. In a post at its developer blog software engineer Aaron Brady described the new distribution hub as a place where “all canvas, mobile and web apps that follow the guidelines can be listed.” Part of the requirement for entry among iOS and Android apps appears to be that they include a Facebook Login, according to the App Center Guidelines. The App Center itself will be accessible on Facebook’s Web interface as well as on the iOS and Android devices.
But apparently Facebook will be doing quality control on the apps that stay in or get booted from the Center. Brady says that a new component of the Facebook Insights analytics will help app makers monitor their user feedback. “Well-designed apps that people enjoy will be prominently displayed. Apps that receive poor user ratings or don’t meet the quality guidelines won't be listed,” he writes. Among the qualitative guidelines for apps, Facebook is requiring clean code and easy user interfaces, clear distinctions between content and advertising, high ratings and low negative feedback from users. Apps will go through a review process after submitting their apps. All apps will require a dedicated “detail page” on Facebook where users can discover the apps through general Facebook searches.
Brady seems to be assuring both Apple and Google that Facebook is not trying to compete directly with either mobile OS and their respective distribution hubs. Once users choose an iOS or Android app they will be redirected to the respective native App Store of Google Play for downloading.