Late yesterday afternoon, Facebook announced that it was going to be launching a cross-platform app store, coded entirely in HTML5, called App Center. Cross-platform meaning it will be available on both Android and iOS, as well as the web.

No, this doesn’t mean that the social network is looking to take on Apple or Google. The App Center will contain both iOS and Android apps, along with Facebook’s own titles, and will link directly to each platform’s respective app stores…

9to5Mac gives a good example of how this would would work:

“If you are visiting Facebook’s App Center on an iPhone, and then enter Words with Friends, or one of the many Facebook-compatible games, you will soon beam to that app’s App Store page for installation. The same holds true for Android users.”

Still confused? Facebook software engineer Aaron Brady gives an overview of what App Center will look like:

“For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga.”

Some of you may remember a report from TechCrunch last summer regarding Facebook working on a secret HTML5-based app platform codenamed Project Spartan. While this doesn’t completely line up with the site’s description of Spartan, it does sound familiar enough to be more than a coincidence.

For those thinking that this will be some third-rate app discovery tool, think again. App Center will come complete with a full ratings system, and both free and paid apps. Developers will even have the option to implement in-app purchases.

According to Brady, App Center will become available online and via the Facebook iOS app in “the coming weeks.” It’ll certainly be interesting to see what it’s all about.

What do you think? Is this a smart move by the social network?

[Venture Beat]

  • It’s actually a very smart move. Facebook can promote apps that use a Facebook login.
    And they can sell HTML 5 apps which would run on any mobile device regardless of the platform.
    HTML 5 apps is the future…and Facebook just played its card.
    Gotta respect mark zuckerberg. He might or might not have stolen the idea of Facebook but he is taking Facebook to great heights. He still lives in a rented house despite being a billionaire.
    Eduardo Saverin on the other hand is blowing the money he received through compensation on booze worth $50000(yes that’s $fifty thousand a night).

    • maybe he lives in a rented house because he knows that US housing is going way down!!!

    • he bought a house like a year ago lol.

  • Yeah, Like I don’t pay for apps enough in the App Store -.-

  • Wouldn’t touch zuckerberg with a tramps nob,as for facebook do people (as in over 20’s ) still use it? I can think of a lot better ways of keeping in touch with my friends (sms,phone or meet up) other than using a social website that logs your every move and bombards you with adverts,just my opinion.

    • Yes we do. It’s convenient. I don’t post anything but jokes. But all of my sisters post pics of their kids on it. I live pretty far away so it’s convenient. It’s also my log in for almost everything now. They’ve got. Apple has me too. I can’t afford to replace all of the iOS apps I’ve purchased over the passed 4 years. But I like apple and I haven’t seen anything android that I’m overly impressed with enough to switch. So, there ya go.

  • Anonymous

    Third-rate app discovery tool

  • maybe Facebook should actually make their app usable first. the thing is terribly slow and horrible to use.

  • Robert Goldberg

    Looks like a Steam wannabe to me. Only this one will most likely fail badly.

  • Robert Goldberg

    Looks like a Steam wannabe to me. Only this one will most likely fail badly.