Facebook has finally opened its alternative to Google Play and Apple's App Store with the launch of the Facebook App Center.
At launch, the store offers some 600 apps that can be run on Facebook's platform. While Facebook has always offered games, plug-ins and other applications, this is the first time it has formally centralised them in one place in an initiative that mimics Google and Apple.
"In the coming weeks, people will be able to access the App Center on the web and in the iOS and Android Facebook apps. All canvas, mobile and web apps that follow the guidelines can be listed," said Facebook software engineer, Aaron Brady, in a company blog post.
The Facebook App Center will be rolled out over the next few weeks to users in different parts of the world.
The App Center had been pre-announced just before the company's initial public offering. It highlights how different web and technology companies are seeking to tie users in to their respective environments with an eco-system of third-party developed applications.
At the start of the internet age in the 1990s it was assumed that the operating system would become increasingly irrelevant and that applications would be built to globally agreed standards and delivered via a standards-compliant web browser. The popularity of apps running on iPads and Android devices represents a partial reversal of that assumption.
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