Facebook’s recently announced App Center has appeared on a number of iPhones, which the company says are being used as a test group for the store.
“Since we announced the App Center to developers last month, we’ve been testing it with a small percentage of users. We have no further details to share at this time,” said a Facebook spokesperson in an email to VentureBeat.
According to screenshots recently published by TechCrunch, the App Center has a similar look and feel to Facebook’s current iPhone application. There is a black side bar on the left-hand side of the screen, which lists apps you have already downloaded, as well as a link to the Center itself. Those apps with notifications are pushed to the top of the black sidebar. The store itself has two sections: social picks and top apps. In social picks, apps are listed with star ratings and the names of friends who have already downloaded the app.
Facebook, which is bent on the idea of discovering new content through your friends interests, decided app stores needed the Facebook touch earlier in May. App marketplaces are notorious for being dense. Many apps rely on making it to the top 25 categories in order to be seen, and user acquisition continues to be a hot topic of conversation amongst developers. The Facebook App Center, on the other hand, will use your social graph to help you find apps relevant to you, and it won’t confine you to Facebook-oriented apps only.
It will be a collection of apps of all kinds from any genre. Apps listed will be available for iOS, Android, and as web apps, mobile web apps, and desktop apps. The App Center acts more like an aggregator. Developers will create a page for their app in Facebook’s Center, but links to download the app will go back to its listing on either the iOS App Store or Google Play.