If you want to understand the biggest bet Facebook is making right now, you’ve got to check out the App Center. Despite their stock tanking like crazy and shareholders getting pissed, Facebook is moving in the right direction of unifying the apps of the world at one single location.. Imagine the Apple App Store, Google Play, Microsoft App Marketplace and all the web apps of the world gathered at one single place having social context embedded within them. Boom there you go!!!
It’s not just any directory, its the app directory of the world. Why? According to a prominent Facebook critic, an executive said that the social network could make a billion dollars a year by collecting a toll on installations of apps.
The App Center is not an app store. Facebook is not selling apps like Apple and Google do. Instead, Facebook is positioning itself as the ultimate gatekeeper for developers who want their apps to be hits. Facebook has made the App Center prominent on the social network’s News Feed and mobile apps.
The App Center makes it far easier to find Facebook-connected apps and install them, particularly on mobile devices. It’s increased installs by 140 percent over Facebook’s previous app listings. And they’re also using these apps more. App Center users are 35% more likely to use the app the day after they install it than other users. That’s crucial for developers, who want engaged users.
The Technology Café has its own App Center listing, check it out here https://www.facebook.com/appcenter/technologycafeblog?fb_source=appcenter
Here’s another statistic they dropped: In July, Facebook sent people to Apple’s App Store and the Google Play marketplace 170 million times. That’s both through the App Center and through the links that appear throughout Facebook whenever users post updates to their profile using an app.
This is a potentially huge business, and Facebook isn’t the only one gunning for the so-called appvertising market. For example, Twitter has tweaked its mobile ads in specific ways that help drive app installations, like targeting ads based on the smartphone operating system a user has. (An Android user has no interest in an app that only runs on Apple’s iOS.)
Let’s say only half of the visits Facebook sends to Apple and Google’s app stores lead to a download. That’s still 85 million a month. Multiply 85 million installs a month by 12 months in a year by $1—the figure that advertising experts agree is the minimum going rate for driving an app installation right now. That takes you to a billion dollars.
The challenge for Facebook
Facebook has to keep convincing users to download new apps by tweaking the App Center to make it appealing. And it has to convince developers that those users’ attention is worth paying for.
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