back to article Bye, bye Apple. Now Facebook's the global app kingmaker

Facebook is helping Apple to solve the biggest problem facing mobile app stores: sorting through the quagmire of mediocrity endemic in the industry. But more importantly Facebook has found a way to turn mobile punters into profit. The Facebook App Center (launched last week) isn't just about mobile apps, it's also a place …


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  1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

    > Canalys spent 16 weeks monitoring the top 100 lists on Google Play

    > and the iTunes app store, and discovered that around half of the titles

    > remained on the list for the whole period - showing how popularity

    > sustains popularity.

    I don't think it shows that at all. It just shows that good, popular apps are still good, popular apps 16 weeks later.

    1. jai

      but, are they not popular, because they are good?

      so good&popular sustains good&popular then.

      whereas goodBUTunknown apps have a hard time becoming popular.

      But this is the way of all things. When you used to buy things from shops on the street (back in the dark ages) the same true, no? popular products would get prime placement in the shop and the rest of the products are hidden away on the shelves.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hope that on iOS6 the Embedded Facebook ap can be removed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's no embedded Facebook app, it works just like twitter does in ios5.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some false assumptions maybe?

    That everyone is a Facebook user?


    How many iDevice owners boycott FaceBook with a vengance?

    Why do so many companies assume that I would ever want to friend them? Heve they suddenly become sentinent beings?

    Anon because I will never sign up for FB, Twitter, G+ or any of that crap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some false assumptions maybe?

      >How many iDevice owners boycott FaceBook with a vengance?

      None now :)

  3. My backside
    Thumb Down

    Utter Rubbish

    Please alert me to more articles by this idiot. I'd like to avoid them at all costs.

  4. Irongut

    Not on my phone it isn't

    "Facebook it's going to become central to how mobile applications are bought and sold, for better or worse."

    see title

  5. Big_Ted

    Has the writer even looked at Google Play ?

    You can enter a word as a search and oder on popularity, its popular not on number of downloads or likes but number of stars out of 5

    You then click an app that looks good and read the reviews......

    I prefer that to a facebook store that does 2 things I don't like, first puts money into the hands of that bunch plus only shows what facebook users and those who care about liking to it think.

    Apple.......ditch "do no evil" Google for "The evil overlord" Zuck.....

    1. 142

      Re: Has the writer even looked at Google Play ?

      Be VERY careful with Android ratings....

      Android app devs have been known to insist that users give five stars to their apps before they can use them. So the apps with the Mugabe style 95% positive ratings are very often malware.

      1. phr0g
        Thumb Down

        Re: Has the writer even looked at Google Play ?

        Weird, in the 3 years I have used Android, I've never encountered that. Maybe it's all the Hentai apps you're downloading?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Has the writer even looked at Google Play ?

          Probably not as hardly any Android user bothers with it.

      2. GotThumbs

        Re: Has the writer even looked at Google Play ?

        I've never encountered that and would look elsewhere if a developer forced that kind of method.

        Can you provide hard facts...or is this just coming out of your ArSS?

        Sorry but everyone needs to remember....just because someone writes it down....does not make it fact.

    2. Craigness
      Thumb Up

      Re: Has the writer even looked at Google Play ?

      If he has, he didn't notice the "you installed this, you might also like these" section which, apparently "only amazon can offer". Google doesn't need to mine the increasingly popular Google+ (it overtook pinterest last week) because it already has the review and rating section built into the Play store. So I can only imagine G+ was mentioned out of ignorance and/or in order to have a dig at it. It's not relevant to the story and it's growing, not "a dearth of activity" so I can't write off ignorance.

  6. Zombie Womble

    When i read the headline I thought it must be another Matt Asay homage to facebook.

    But it looks like someone has been stealing his Kool-aid.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not this developer

    Hell will freeze over before I pay a single shiny penny to Facebook as part of app promotion. Many other developers will feel the same way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not this developer

      "Hell will freeze over" - I completely admire this stand but it's all about what it's always been about - money and dominance. It's just that there are new robber barons in the ascendant.

      Resistance brings its own (non-financial) reward though so game-on!

    2. ZweiBlumen

      Re: Not this developer

      Why do you care whether you pay your shiny pennies to Facebook, Apple, Google or even Microsoft (ha!) as part of app promotion? They are all just companies trying to maximise their profits. They are all equally evil, bad, good, innocent, corrupt thieving monopolies - or whatever.

      (Or are you giving your apps away completely for free?)

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Not this developer

      Well then you'd better start paying up. I understand it happened back in '94.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another "new" Apple innovation?

    So, here I am with a phone that allows me to integrate Facebook into apps, allows me to see what games, videos, music etc my Facebook friends like. Sort of like Apple's "new" feature.

    Hmm... except I'm not running iOS6, I'm using Android 2.3.4

    Apple re-inventing new features again, this time looking over the shoulder of Sony Ericsson.

    1. Craigness
      Thumb Up

      Re: Another "new" Apple innovation?

      It's sad to see them putting so much effort into integrating 2 social networks, and then thinking that it's such a big deal they need to make it part of a keynote speech. Android was designed better (from an app developer/user point of view at least) so all social networks yet to be invented are already integrated into it and we can remove the integration of existing ones just by uninstalling the app. From a marketing point of view it's a bad design though, because when things truly do Just Work there's nothing to talk about.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another "new" Apple innovation?

      Since your only on 2.3.4 I'm guessing you were never offered the chance to upgrade, ICS has been out for 7 months, which explains why you are an AC.

      BTW how are those new feature that Google created, working for you?

      PROTIP : When meeting a fandroid, just mention, Updates, Customer Service or "when you pay fuck all, you get fuck all". Never ask "Who is Google's customer and who is their product". That's always way too funny.

    3. chr0m4t1c

      Re: Another "new" Apple innovation?

      @AC OP, iOS already allows that stuff too, but currently applications need to ask for their own set of login credentials to Farcebook.

      iOS6 will allow users to login to FB globally in the OS settings if they wish (presumably, like the Twitter integration, each app will still be able to do it individually if you would prefer).

      This feature is not available in iOS5, so it fits the criteria for "new" in the context of the developer keynote where it was announced.

      Each version of Android has features that are "new" to Android, but may have been seen on other platforms first, not every feature is truly innovative you know.

      New doesn't have to mean "never available anywhere else, ever", you know.

  9. Richard Cartledge

    Why any grown-up would play on Facebook is beyond me. Some sort of conspiracy to infantilise the masses is afoot.

    1. sabba

      The masses don't need any help...

      ...have you seen the state of British TV lately or, even worse, American?

  10. John A Blackley

    "mobile" applications?

    Faceplant has mobile applications?

    Wonder why one of their biggest games developers just dtiched them to focus on the "mobile" market.

  11. Steve Todd

    Bill seems to specialise in stupid

    Firstly it's never been just a case of dropping an app into the app store and waiting for the money to roll in. You have to market it, and word-of-mouth is a time-honoured way. Facebook is an extension of that, but there are plenty of review sites, magazines, columns on el Reg etc that do the same job.

    Secondly the top 10 lists have never been the only way to discover apps. Searching by name/keyword/phrase, then looking at user reviews and ratings is a method used by many if not most folks.

    If authors havn't done their homework, got the word out about their program and got some decent reviews then they're going to struggle to be seen among the crowd. How is this Apple's fault?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Massive flaw in this argument...

    Why would people socially advocate anything other than the most popular applications?

    In other words, why would people socially share less popular content?

    Surely people are simply going to look at the top ten apps and share those with friends?

    What would prompt people to search below that top 10 and share with friends??

    Sorry, but I've refuted this entire argument in about 2 minutes.


    1. edge_e

      Re: Massive flaw in this argument...

      I don't use get used by facebook but in the real world I'll say I like something if I like it. It doesn't matter how popular it is.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Massive flaw in this argument...

      I think the point of the article was that the stats show that you are in a minority.

      Most people mostly buy what is sold to them, so the top promoted apps get the sales. Rather like the music top 40 or the vast number of variations of Colgate toothpaste. It's promotion and shelf-space which tends to sell stuff; having a better mousetrap isn't enough.

      People share less popular content because the cost of doing so is very low. So pretty much anything is available on TPB, but Blockbuster has mostly new titles spread over a disproportionate amount of shelf-space.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Massive flaw in this argument...

      I believe the idea is that you discover apps your facebook friends are using, not those that have the most likes overall. Otherwise there would be no benefit to integration with the app store, as they already let people submit ratings (which are 'likes' on a 0-5 star scale)

      Just because Angry Birds the most popular game overall doesn't mean that five of your friends haven't discovered some obscure game they're playing against each other, so maybe you give it a chance based on that. You like it, then other friends of yours see that, and it snowballs. At least that's the theory. It would offer a different avenue to popularity aside from the current one of being fortunate enough to get featured status in the app store.

      Obviously people who will have nothing to do with Facebook won't get anything out of this, but it doesn't hurt their experience either.

  13. Mondo the Magnificent


    ...if you DON'T want to use IOS 6's Facebook App and it's embedded, just don't enter your login credentials and move the Icon to the last page or into a Folder [say directory] named "Crap"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...and no mention of the idiots at Microsoft!

  15. Joerg

    Facebook is a fake company...

    Just like YouTube. Businesses created by Wall Street rich billionaires (the two YouTube guys are sons of some of those).

    Facebook is nothing. It produced nothing. It's a fake company. Comparing it to Apple that produces real hardware and real software and has the currently best apps business model it's kinda silly.

    Also Facebook is now turning into a full nazi/commie style business being allowed to identify all its users obliging for unique cell phone number SMS authentication.. on June 15th they are going to terminate all older accounts that didn't need any SMS to know who you are.

    Facebook is dangerous for this and for all the money they are sucking in the industry.

  16. mt1

    Dont they make a 5% referee fee from apple if someone links to the store and purchases?

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