There has been a long-standing issue with app discovery and that it has been relegated to some very basic features such as carousels/lists and categories. There are so many more effective ways that a person can discover an app and word-of-mouth is one of them. The problem is that word-of-mouth is difficult to track as it’s offline, but a recent facebook announcement points to the fact that the company will be owning the space entirely.
Facebook has likely been seeing a ton of traffic and posts into the system from apps and has decided that it’s time to start facilitating easier posting and discovery of all these apps on the platform. To do this, facebook is allowing for discovery of apps in a few ways including bookmarks, news feed discovery, and referrals.
Bookmarks – When a user engages with your app, a bookmark to your app is automatically added to a user’s main navigation on Facebook. This is key to re-engagement and will mean more users coming back to the app.
News Feed – Now, when a user posts activity to the news feed, someone can tap the link and be directed to the app. If it’s a mobile web app, the user goes to the landing page, or if it’s a native app, the user gets pushed to the download link.
One of the barriers to entry seems to be a requirement that apps use facebook credits as the sole payment method for virtual goods. It’s up to developers to decide whether the tradeoff is worth the added exposure to the 300+ million mobile facebook users.
Read more about the facebook announcement on its developer blog. These features are currently only open to iOS and Android, so it should be interesting to see how BlackBerry fits in to all of this.