My week in mobile: Facebook App Center and no more Maps on iOS

Yesterday, another long-awaited opportunity was finally revealed as Facebook launched its own app marketplace, The App Center.

Facebook has a $3 billion advertising business that’s tipped to get a lot bigger. Despite recent speculation that it can’t win on mobile, the company is in a commanding position both in terms of user base and the value per user. This new social discoverability platform will soon reach one billion people, more than 50% of internet users and nearly 15% of the world’s population.

To date, only web or mobile apps built with Facebook were displayed on their platform. Developers can now promote any Android or iOS app that allows users to log in via Facebook. New ‘product pages’, similar to other app stores and brand Facebook pages, will hold app details.

The aim of this move is to drive mobile downloads, either directly or through links to the relevant app store. The center will contain paid apps, the first time they have been given visibility on Facebook.
Facebook has not yet revealed what will be taken into account when ranking new apps, however, we are expecting highly social elements – weighted towards social sharing, positive ratings and reviews.
We expect Facebook to become one of, if not the biggest, mobile publisher and this is an excellent opportunity for our clients to promote their apps in a highly populated and social setting.

End of Google Maps on Apple?

In other news in Platform Wars, Apple is likely to drop Google Maps from the next iteration of iOS. According to ‘trusted sources’ speaking to 9 to 5 Mac, this will give way to a new Map app with an Apple back-end. This is unsurprising in the race to become the ruler of mobile, but is potentially an unsettling change as many people are used to Google Map. How different can a map be you ask? Apple’s new offering should include 3D. Like you’re actually standing there…

Watch out for Apple getting rid of Google as its default search engine…

Written for Somo and first published here:

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