Facebook App Center wraps apps in social

Facebook has announced its own iOS and Android app store, the Facebook App Center, offering users of the social network browser-based and downloaded software that connects users through their social credentials. The new App Center will basically turn Facebook into a profile page wrapper for iPhone and Android software, offering links to the App Store and Play Market for those titles which requite downloads, as well as easy access to web-based apps coded in HTML5 and other languages.

All canvas, mobile and web apps will be eligible for inclusion in Facebook App Center, the company says, as long as they meet the guidelines. They include such qualifications as having high app ratings and a low negative feedback rate, not using a UI that misleads users into thinking it's part of Facebook itself, but also providing seamless login with Facebook credentials.

That latter point is perhaps the key motivator for Facebook's new download store. Any apps that want to be included will have to support Facebook Login; that means more people sharing their details, and more information for Zuckerberg & Co. to collect.

Developers keen to get involved should create an app detail page, Facebook says, which will serve as the profile listing as well as being the new destination when non-users search for the app. There'll also be new support for paid apps – with Facebook promising a simple-to-implement payment feature that lets people pay a flat fee to use an app on Facebook.com – with a beta program kicking off for interested developers.

Access to Facebook App Center will roll out in the coming weeks to the Android and iOS apps.