Facebook has launched its new App Center across the iOS, Android and overall web, ushering in a new era for the app economy, with social recommendations and discovery at its heart.
The App Center, which Facebook recently revealed it was working on, features mobile and web apps, such as Draw Something, Pinterest, and Nike+ GPS, and new apps including Jetpack Joyride, Ghosts of Mistwood, and Ghost Recon Commander.
It begins rolling out to users in the US with more than 600 apps available and will become available to all users worldwide in the coming weeks, Facebook said.
One of the key attractions of Facebook’s new App Center is it highlights the kind of apps your friends are using. It also functions as a comprehensive shop window with screenshots and detailed descriptions of an app before you attempt to install it.
The App Center is available in the Facebook iOS and Android apps, as well as Facebook.com.
Users can send apps they find on their computers to their mobile phones using a ‘Send to Mobile’ feature. If a mobile app requires a download, users will be sent to install it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
It will be interesting to see how Apple and Google will respond to this new initiative, but so long as it drives apps usage to their specific ecosystems then should they care?
Google will no doubt be the one to watch here, considering its considerable footprint via Android and with Google Play, the evolution of apps within the Chrome ecosystem, as well as its 100m members on social network Google+.
Opportunities in the apps economy
Citing a study by Deloitte, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg recently told Davos that Facebook contributes €15.3bn of economic impact to the European Union’s gross domestic product (GDP), including 32,000 jobs and €2.3bn to the UK’s GDP.
Drilling down to Ireland, Facebook has supported 5,000 jobs and contributed an estimated €400m to GDP. The economic impact apps and services on top of the Facebook platform is estimated to be €100m in Ireland and has created 1,000 new jobs.
A further knock-on effect has been the demand for devices and broadband attributed to Facebook, estimated to be worth €100m in Ireland. This has generated 500 new jobs.