The next big thing for Facebook? Apparently, acting as a guide to which apps users may want to check out on their Android or iOS devices. Its App Center is launching tonight with a listing of over 600 curated apps and just as the leaks indicated, puts your friends recommendations of what to use front and center. The app center itself is available on the mobile device's Facebook apps or the desktop website, where users can send apps to their phone and then get redirected to the App Store / Google Play to download it if necessary. Facebook also has guidelines for developers on how they can get their software in front of a few more eyeballs (we haven't read them, but we're guessing a tie-in with the Book of Face won't be frowned upon).
While Google has gotten a bit of a head start on this functionality by showing what people in your circles have +'d on Google Play, the crossplatform nature of the Center and Facebook's massive reach make this a pretty easy fit. Of course, with rumors of deeper integration between Facebook and iOS 6, it will be interesting to see if today's developments are referenced at WWDC next week. Check after the break for a couple more pictures and a press release, or the source links for info from Facebook's PR and developer blog.
Update: Now the App Center page is live as shown above, check it out now to see how many of your friends have been ignoring your requests in Draw Something.
· The App Center is launching tonight with more than 600 social apps, including Nike+ GPS, Ubisoft Ghost Recon Commander, Stitcher Radio, Draw Something, and Pinterest.
· Each person will have a personalized experience in the App Center, with recommendations based on the apps they and their friends use, whether that be games or fashion, food, fitness, travel, or other lifestyle apps.
· You'll only see high quality apps in the App Center, based on user ratings and engagement.
· The App Center is available on mobile via the Facebook apps for iOS and Android, or by accessing Facebook.com on mobile.
· More than 230 million people play games on Facebook every month
· More than 130 games on Facebook have more than 1 million monthly active users.
· More than 4,500 timeline apps have launched since f8 in September 2011.
· Facebook drove people to the Apple App Store 83 million times in May.
· Facebook drove people to iOS apps 134 million times in May (someone who already has the app and is directed back to it from Facebook.)
· As of May, seven of the top 10 grossing iOS apps and six of the top 10 Android apps have integrated with Facebook.