As part of its strategy to boost its mobile presence, Facebook has launched an app center, which hosts a range of third party software.
Facebook is following the lead of its rivals, such as Apple, and has opened up an application ('apps') store called simply the "App Center".
According to Facebook representative Matt Wyndowe, via Facebook's Newsroom, "The App Center gives you personalized recommendations, and lets you browse the apps your friends use. It only lists high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who use the app."
To aid the consumer, Wyndowe goes on to say:
"Every app in the App Center has screenshots and a detailed description, so you can learn more about it before installing it. It helps you control your privacy by showing the information an app needs and letting you choose who can see your activity on Facebook. If you decide you want to use an app, you can get started directly from the App Center."
The Daily Mail considers that the ability to rate apps should help to minimize the number of apps designed only to spam people.
The new Facebook apps center will be available on desktop computers, via Android and iOS equipped phones and tablet computers running Facebook's own app. The BBC notes that some 600 apps have been selected for the initial launch. This includes "The Sims", "Socialcam" and "Pinterest".
600 apps may seem paltry compared with the thousands available via Google or Apple. However, Information Week weighs up that this could be an advantage: "Facebook's App Center has one thing going for it that Apple's iTunes App Store and Google Play do not: an app shortage...Any app in the App Center at the moment is likely to get a lot more attention than an app lost among the 725,000+ apps in Apple's App Store or the 500,000+ apps available through Google Play. Sometimes, less is more."
CIO Today states that initially, the apps store is only be available to Facebook users in the USA. Other countries will follow a few months later.
The apps contest between Facebook, Google and Apple will be an interesting one.