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Facebook reveals App Store plan as IPO nears

11 May 2012

With its initial public offering (IPO) just days away, Facebook has unveiled a paid applications store which could help bring the firm additional income.

The company said that its App Center service would allow developers to offer their applications to users as both free and paid applications on the iOS and Android mobile platforms as well as web-based applications.

As with other app stores, Facebook's App Center service will allow developers to set a one-time price on their applications which users will pay in order to install and run the app on the Facebook site.

"The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook, whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web," wrote Facebook engineer Aaron Brady.

"From the mobile App Center, users can browse apps that are compatible with their device, and if a mobile app requires installation, they will be sent to download the app from the App Store or Google Play."

The unveiling of the App Store comes as Facebook prepares to undertake its landmark IPO. Executives are currently touring the US to discuss the IPO with potential investors and financial analysts.

Industry pundits believe that the launch of App Center will help the company show investors that solid revenue streams exist for Facebook.

"The App Center is where much of Facebook's anticipated 25 per cent per year growth will have to come from, so it is part and parcel to setting a high valuation," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group.

"Pushing it out now is critical to their ability to sell financial analysts on the idea they can have this sustained 25 per cent annual growth needed to justify a near $100bn valuation."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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