Last week we got a little clue that Facebook was gearing up to take its App Center to markets outside the U.S., when it began to appear in the UK. As of today, it’s official: Facebook has now extended the App Center to Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, with Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey coming in following weeks. And in a nod to making the platform more accessible to developers from around the world, it’s also introducing a translation tool.
The App Center was first launched in June in the U.S. as a way to help discover new apps, with personalized recommendations, and for people to get apps specifically for mobile devices. Quickly ramping up the service to cover Facebook’s users outside of the U.S. is a crucial step. Users outside of the U.S. and Canada make up more than 80 percent of Facebook’s user base; it will help it increase time spent on the site by all users; and it will also make the App Center a more attractive marketplace for those developers hungry for a wider audience for their apps.
The development will mean that Facebook users in these markets will now get an App Center bookmark on the left side of their home page on Facebook.com and in the Facebook apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
The move to make the storefront more international is not just a reflection of Facebook’s user base, but also of the developers feeding into it: Diamond Dash comes from Wooga in Germany and Bubble Witch Saga from King.com in the UK. Halfbrick, Rovio, Soundcloud, Spotify and Deezer are also popular app publishers from outside the U.S.
To date, Facebook says that 230 million people are playing games on Facebook every month; more than 130 games have more than 1 million monthly active users. There is also increasing traffic from iOS and Android apps into Facebook’s platform: 7 of the top 10 grossing iOS games, and 6 of the top 10 Android games, have integrated into Facebook, the company says.