The wait is over. Facebook has finally released its highly anticipated Facebook App Centre. This App Store-like service acts as a repository for Android, iOS, and native web apps connected to the social networking platform. There are currently only around 600 titles available, but that is likely to change once more businesses and developers get onboard. Let’s take a look at some of the marketing opportunities that have arisen with the launch of the Facebook App Centre.
The Facebook App Center is designed to cater to the more than 900 million people who use Facebook. One look at the new service and you can instantly tell that simplicity was the goal here. Facebook has made it incredibly easy for users to find popular applications ranging from Pinterest and Spotify to Draw Something and Scramble with Friends. The company even included a “detail page” for every app. On this page, users can learn more about features and what makes a given application unique. With this added exposure, marketers with their own apps running on the platform have the potential to see huge growth.
Increased Mobile Exposure
Facebook recently revealed that mobile is the area it is struggling in more than any other. Now that the company has an obligation to keep its new stockholders happy, the introduction of the Facebook App Center appears to be right on time. Facebook says that one of the goals of the new service is to spur the adoption of apps on its mobile platform – whether they run on Android, iOS, or directly in a mobile browser.
From their smartphone, users can access a mobile version of the facebook App Centre that allows them to browse the available titles and choose those that are compatible with their device. The ability to engage a festive crowd of mobile users is something several marketers will likely appreciate.
There is a lot of money in apps. According to ABI Research, mobile apps alone generated $8.5 billion for developers and stakeholders in 2011. The firm expects that number to rise to an astounding $46 billion by 2016. With the recently launched Facebook App Center, Facebook is giving marketers the opportunity to capitalize and cash in on this phenomenon.
The company is allowing businesses to offer premium versions of their applications that people have to actually pay for to use. Facebook is encouraging marketers and developers to sign up and give this new beta program a trial run.
Does the new Facebook App Centre have enough to give the App Store a run for its money? In its current form, most definitely not. What it does offer, however, is appeal that makes it a very attractive option for marketers. After all, it is the support of the marketing and developer communities that will enable this thing to take off and become a hit.
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Abel is a writer, online marketing expert, and advocate for email marketing software company, Benchmark Email.