Taking a page right out of Apple’s book, Facebook today began rolling out its new App Store to users (they announced that the App Store would be launched a few weeks before their IPO). Facebook announced this on its blog:
You can now enhance your timeline with apps that help you tell your story, whether you love to cook, eat, travel, run, or review movies.
Unfortunately, Facebook has quite the uphill battle: while the iTunes App Store boasts over 750,000 apps, the new Facebook App Store has a mere 600. Even Google Play beats Facebook here with over 500,000 appls.
For developers, the potential upside is considerable. By integrating Facebook’s login system, developers may be able to get their apps in front of Facebook’s 845 million users. For the few apps featured in the App Store with prominent placement or called out in showcase menus labeled “Top Rated”, “Trending”, “Recommended”, or “Friends”, downloads are likely to increase. Whether exposure in the App Center will translate into more users for apps that haven’t made it big already remains to be seen.
It also seems likely that Facebook is hoping that their App Store will help increase their overall revenue, as CNN notes here.
Facebook makes about 15% of its money through payments in games and other apps, according to filings when the site went public. Zynga, owner of FarmVille, Draw Something and other successful games, is responsible for the majority of those payments. Facebook takes a 30% cut.
Many of the apps in Facebook’s App Store are already available on Facebook, but until now there hasn’t been a place to browse apps and find the ones that might interest you. In addition, the new App Store on Facebook launches the first apps that require a fee on Facebook.
Check it out. Are you likely to buy apps from Facebook?