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Facebook App Center goes live for mobile users

Facebook officially launched its App Center this week, amid a smattering of good news from Wall Street. 

By Matthew Shaer / June 8, 2012

The Facebook homepage.

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Earlier this week, Facebook took the wraps off the App Center, an online store in the mold of the Apple App Store or Google Play. App Center launches with approximately 600 applications, including software from Pinterest, Draw Something, Nike, and game company Ubisoft, which is offering a mobile Facebook version of its popular Ghost Recon franchise. The platform is accessible now through iOS or Android-equipped devices. 

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So how does it stack up? Well, over at PC World, Ian Paul notes that App Center isn't necessarily a replacement for other app stores, but a kind of funnel. Using the platform, you can find games to play on Facebook.com, track down iOS or Android apps that require a Facebook log-in, or filter through game and app requests. And in those ways, Paul continues, the App Center will almost certainly be a success for users. 

"App Center may be able to surface some good content for you since Facebook knows so much about your preferences and can share with you which apps your friends are using," he writes.

The App Center may also be a success for Facebook, which went public last month. The App Center, after all, does what Facebook products do best: keeps users connected to the larger Facebook eco-system. "Facebook is clearly hoping that it can use its strength to increase the popularity of apps that use Facebook in some way, which increases Facebook’s popularity, and so on in a positive feedback loop," writes Dieter Bohn of The Verge. 

In related news, after weeks of bad news from Wall Street, Facebook stock crept upward today. The Associated Press reports that shares of the social network climbed 73 cents in trading on Friday, up to $27.04. That's still 29 percent off the initial offering price of $38, but probably a welcome reprieve for CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the Menlo Park crew. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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