Facebook Launches App Center, Lets You Sell Apps

Sarah Kessler
Mashable

Facebook just got a little bit more like Apple and Google.

The company announced on Wednesday that it is building its own app center. It will also enable paid Facebook apps for the first time.

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Users currently search for apps on Facebook using the same search bar they use to find people, groups and events. In the coming weeks, they'll be able to search from a dashboard that looks much like Apple's App Store or Google Play -- complete with details and ratings for each app.

The new app center will be accessible on the web or through Facebook's iOS and Android Facebook apps.

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It will work very differently than its Apple and Google counterparts. Since many "Facebook apps" are actually iOS or Android apps with Facebook integrations, it will refer users to other app stores to download them.

"The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook – whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web," explained Facebook engineer Aaron Brady in a blog post.

To reach Facebook's more than 900 million users through its app store, developers need to use Facebook Login in their apps. That's a pretty big incentive to use Facebook Login.

The social network also introduced paid apps on Facebook.com Wednesday. Facebook apps such as Zynga games have been free up until this point. In Zynga's case, this hasn't stopped it from raking in revenue from in-app purchases and advertisers.

But paid apps will offer a new opportunity for Facebook developers to monetize -- and for Facebook to collect a 30% cut of their transactions.

Would you pay for Facebook apps? Will a store set-up be useful? Let us know in the comments.

This story originally published on Mashable here.