Application developers have a new piece of real estate to strive for on Facebook, which on Wednesday unveiled its new Application Directory that showcases apps that have passed through the social networking site’s verification process.
The idea behind the new directory is to provide Facebook users with a centralized place to sort through 52,000-plus apps that have been developed for the site over the past several years. If the channel catches on with users, it’s also likely to provide a powerful promotional launching pad for new apps. For example, at the top of the new page is a Featured By Facebook tool that allows user to flip through 14 pages of applications — two at a time — which have been selected by the site’s staff.
Below the Featured By Facebook section is an Apps You May Like area, which mixes Facebook’s most popular apps with tools that have been suggested based on user interests and activities on the site. The channel also highlights apps that users’ friends have recently interacted with, and members can search for apps within specific topic categories such as Business & Finance, Entertainment and Sports.
Facebook is touting the new channel as a way for users to discover apps that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. However, the site is clearly looking to provide incentive for developers to build applications that measure up to its verification standards (currently the verification process is optional).
A key mission of Facebook’s application verification program is to protect users’ personal data while encouraging transparency by developers.