Facebook has launched its "App Center" in the UK for its users, a few weeks after it was released in the US, offering both web-based and mobile apps.
The social networking website, which is likely to reach one billion active registered users by the end of the year, will compete in a crowded marketplace with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, RIM and Samsung vying to topple Apple and its App Store.The service delivers suggested apps which are personalised for the user and apps that the users' friends have used recently.
There are also top rated, trending and top grossing sections with the usual suspects (Texas HoldEm Pocker, FarmVille, CastleVille amongst others) occupy the top spots.Facebook will offer around 600 apps initially, a far cry of the hundreds of thousands of apps Apple or Google already offer, but it will not compete with either on mobile devices where it still depends on platform operators like Apple and its iOS for its success.
The company says that more than 230 million people play Facebook games every month and that it sends more than 83 million visitors to Apple's App Store in May 2012.
I still believe that Facebook will buy Opera and launch a Facebook smartphone that will finally free it from the diktat of platform owners.