By now, social media users that once tweeted “Facebook or Twitter?” have come to realize that the two services couldn’t be more different. While Twitter is essentially a very powerful but extremely simple broadcast/radar station, Facebook has quickly grown from the Web’s most compelling friend and contact management solution to a bonafide entertainnment and lifestyle destination.
For the most part, the entertainment component of Facebook has come courtesy of Web developers that have collectively built some 52,000 applications of varying degrees of quality.Facebook apps allows site visitors to do a multitude of things including play games, network, shop, create surveys and polls, brainstorm, rate and review media and search for apartments.
For far too long, however, the apps building boom has created a striking inequity as remarkable new apps sat virtually undiscovered while new apps that could be easily found in the Facebook search engine amassed large numbers of installs despite major flaws.
This week Facebook took an important step toward solving both findability and legitimacy issues by unveiling its new Applications Directory of 120 “verified” apps. For users, the benefits of the directory are obvious, making the process of finding good applications by category that have met Facebook’s minimum verifications standards. This is the beginning of what resembles Apple’s magnificent iPhone App store, except that all Facebook apps are free to use.
The directory is by no means perfect yet. For example, we’re not quite sure what the “Which Mafia Character Are You?” app is doing in the “Business” category. As more apps are verified, however, we’re confident that Facebook will sort this out. The app directory’s improvement could be a vitally important factor in sparking the social network’s continued staying power.
How to Be Included in the Facebook Application Directory
To be included in the new Applications Directory, developers must submit their application to Facebook’s verification process. The $375 application cost comes with significant benefits, including Priority Ranking, a verification badge, ad credits and a significant boost in notification and requests allocation. A full list of benefits and procedures can be found here.