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Facebook opening online center for social “apps”

/ 12:00 PM May 10, 2012

AFP FILE PHOTO

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook on Wednesday said it is opening an App Center for mini-programs that plug offerings such as Pinterest or Draw Something into the leading social network.

The App Center will feature programs geared for Web browsers as well as those for Apple and Android smartphones or tablet computers as part of a Facebook strategy to connect with its more than 900 million members on mobile gadgets.

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“The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web,” Facebook’s Aaron Brady said in a blog post.

“From the mobile App Center, users can browse apps that are compatible with their device, and if a mobile app requires installation, they will be sent to download the app from the App Store or Google Play.”

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Facebook invited software developers to ready description pages for listing in the App Center, where applications will earn spots based on quality, popularity and other metrics.

“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,” Brady said.

Paid applications will be allowed, with Facebook charging users flat fees.

Applications at the center must be designed to let people sign-in using Facebook Connect.

The App Center will open in “coming weeks,” according to Brady.

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