Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Facebook app centre launched in India: Will it do well?

Facebook introduced its app centre in India and six other countries, with the objective of helping users find games and apps more easily. This is part of a concerted effort on the part of Facebook to showcase the work of developers using its API, as well as capitalize on the fact that most of its users seem to access the site via their mobile devices.
The service is also available on Apple and Android mobile devices.
The company said the centre has driven millions of app installations since it was introduced in the US last month. The centre does not host apps, but sends users to the appropriate app store for their device. But will this strategy work for India?
Many Facebook users in India do use their Facebook accounts to play games online as much as they use them to keep in touch. But whether they will use an app store remains to be seen.
It is highly likely that many users will not appreciate the redirection to the appropriate app store, and it is also debatable if an app store will eventually lead to more online purchases of apps.
And Facebook will have to make the app store more obvious to users.
Currently users have to click on the App Center icon located on the left side of the home page on Facebook, which recommends apps based on interests. But right now its a little hidden away and in the rush of looking through photographs or stalking people or doing whatever it is you use Facebook for, it is likely to go unnoticed.
One would expect it to be located right on top of the screen, but its more towards the bottom of the page, and unless you knew it was there you’d be likely to miss it.
We do recommend however that you check it out. The design of the store is intuitive and simple.
As you click on the tab you will see a bunch of personalized recommendations based on apps you have used thus far. However it has also categorized apps into ‘most used’, ‘top grossing’ and ‘trending’ in similar fashion to the Apple store which makes the discovery of new apps a lot easier.
An email from Facebook reproduced by Mashable says, “You’ll only see high quality apps in the App Center, based on user ratings and engagement.”
Consumers will need to use Facebook Credits, the company’s payment system, to purchase the apps and Facebook will take a 30 percent cut of the revenue as it does with in-app purchases, said Facebook spokeswoman Malorie Lucich, when the app centre was first announced last month.
Facebook is introducing the app service to give software developers additional options, but the company expects in-app purchases to remain more prevalent on the social network, said Lucich.

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