Late yesterday (May 9), Facebook announced on its Developer Blog a new App Center, which it describes as both a place for people to discover social apps and a vehicle for developers to promote and build upon their apps.
The post, written by Facebook engineer Aaron Brady, mentioned by name "great apps" like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga as examples of the apps Facebook's 900 million users could discover in the new App Center expected to launch in a few weeks.
The new area will for the first time also allow developers to offer paid apps which, much like the iTunes Store, will sell for a flat fee.
A mobile version of the Facebook Center will also launch to cater specifically to the growing number of mobile users engaging Facebook.
The App Center will offer a new app evaluation system based on ratings and engagement to determine if an app will be listed in the new area.
The new platform encourages developers to "start preparing today" to ensure their app is included at launch. The post links to an App Center Tutorial for developers to create an app detail page in order to be eligible for listing in the App Center.
The App Center comes amidst a flurry of Facebook announcements and news over the last few months as the social network behemoth makes final preparations for its initial public stock offering ( reportedly set for May 17th). These initiatives include the introduction of a listen button, the timeline interface, the purchase of Instagram, reported negotiations with Vevo, a break with the controversial streaming site Grooveshark and even a new organ donor registration program.