Inside the Facebook App Centre
This announcement from Facebook should be no surprise to anybody who has been paying attention to their exponential growth in mobile usage over the last 12 months.
During the recent IPO documentation, Facebook publically admitted that the growth of mobile has a serious potential to impact their future revenue:
We do not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven. We believe this increased usage of Facebook on mobile devices has contributed to the recent trend of our daily active users (DAUs) increasing more rapidly than the increase in the number of ads delivered. If users increasingly access Facebook mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers, and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected
With the above in mind, Facebook very quickly have to find routes to successfully monetize this growth.
The App Centre is an immediate answer to that problem.
One of the many clever points of this announcement is that Facebook are unlikely to have annoyed either Apple or Google as this is simply going to help them and their users discover the many applications that have social at heart. This move will arguably make Facebook the biggest cross-platform application aggregator in the world.
For developers and brands alike, the benefits are there for all to see: increased awareness of your applications, the opportunity to develop HTML5 mobile web apps that can quickly find an audience (Facebook now has over 450m+ active mobile users globally) and further revenue generation.
A Facebook App has to use Facebook Connect for it to be featured within the store. This on their part is an excellent move to encourage developers and brands to really think about unique and different ways that they can plug Facebook functionality in to their apps.
This in turn will increase users’ social amplification opportunities. We should remember though that there is no guarantee that this will work for Facebook, but it’s an excellent step in the right direction to embrace the huge growth that we’re seeing in social mobile – and it presents us with some very exciting opportunities to innovate.
Dan Beasley is Head of Mobile at Jam.