Facebook Takes App Center Live, Aims to Become The Social App Hub

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) finally launched the App Center last week, more than a month following its announcement. The App Center will feature mobile and web apps like Draw Something, Pinterest and games which have a social aspect and can be played with friends. It aims to solve the problem of app discovery by offering personalized recommendations based on your social graph. It specifically features social apps for major platforms like Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, and also features web apps while linking to the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store for native apps. [1]

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Given Facebook’s reach, it can drive a significant number of downloads through the App Center. It can also explore ways to monetize the downloads of native apps it drives, going forward, and also take a 30% cut off the paid web app downloads. It will also promote the use of Facebook Connect in mobile apps, bolstering its position as the number one social platform in the world.

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The Facebook App Center could become one of the top curated social app marketplaces. If Facebook is able to push developers to build web apps using Facebook Connect which will work with all platforms, instead of building native iOS or Android apps, it could also gain control of the app ecosystems of the major smartphone platforms, and generate a significant amount of revenue through app downloads, going forward.

We currently have a $33 Trefis price estimate for Facebook, most of which is derived from its advertising and virtual transactions businesses. It competes primarily with Google, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Yahoo (NYSE:YHOO) in the online advertising space.

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Notes:
  1. App Center: A New Place to Find Social Apps, Facebook []