Facebook's App Center seeks to court mobile users

The App Center will display high-quality apps that use Facebook's authentication system

Facebook said Wednesday that it will launch an App Center where users can browse "high-quality" mobile apps that integrate with the social-networking site.

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The App Center will host apps that work on Android and Apple's iOS operating systems and the web. However, users will have to go to Google Play or the App Store to download the apps.

Eligible apps include websites and mobile apps that use Facebook's authentication system to offer users a personalized experience as well as those hosted on commercial Facebook pages.

Facebook said an app must clearly delineate between content and advertising and set clear expectations about what user activity it shares.

The company's blog post points to Zynga's Draw Something, Pinterest, SpotifyA and Viddy, a video-sharing service which Mark Zuckerberg recently joined, as examples of high-quality apps.

The move came on the same day that Facebook filed an amended S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission that expanded the company's description of the risk posed to its revenue model by users' growing preference for mobile, rather than desktop, access.

The filing, which is required paperwork leading up to Facebook's initial public offering later this month, warned that its current failure to monetize mobile users posed a financial risk. The filing cited efforts to improve mobile apps as part of the company's strategy.

"If users increasingly access Facebook mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers, and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users, or if we incur excessive expenses in this effort, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected," the filing said.

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

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