Facebook's App Center Takes on the App Store, Play Store and Anything in Between

Facebook plans to compete with existing app stores by using their inventory

Facebook is debuting an app store, it was inevitable, but now it's official, in the coming weeks the App Center will be introduced and will be available via the site and the mobile apps.

The App Center will be able to house any app that leverages Facebook in some way, canvas apps, aka native Facebook apps, mobile apps from the App Store or the Play Store or mobile web apps, and even websites that offer a customized experience by using Facebook features.

The App Center, which will go live in the coming weeks, will list several top apps, but also enable users to browse categories or search for the things they want.

In many ways, the App Center will be similar to existing app stores, but it will be unique in some aspects as well. For one, it's cross platform, it works on the desktop and on mobile devices.

What's more, it houses any type of app, web or native. In the case of native mobile apps, the App Center will direct users to the app's App Store or Play Store page, when it comes to the actual installing.

Facebook emphasizes quality over quantity in its new App Center. All apps are subject to review, just like those in the App Store. Those that do not meet the guidelines will be rejected, though developers will have the opportunity to remedy the problem and try again.

But, unlike Apple, all apps will be accepted on Facebook, just not in the App Center, so even if an app is rejected, you'll still be able to search for it or discover it via the social channels, just like apps work now.

Beyond the review system, Facebook will also personalize the selection on the App Center homepage as well as suggestions to each individual user, leveraging all the data it's got on users now.

It may look like a me-too effort, but Facebook's approach is different than anything we've seen so far, and the site's got some big advantages, the single biggest being its unmatchable size.

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