Facebook App Center Guidelines Explained

With all the talk of the Facebook IPO, people might be forgetting the company’s other huge announcement – the App Center. It has a good chance of changing how people find and interact with...
Facebook App Center Guidelines Explained
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  • With all the talk of the Facebook IPO, people might be forgetting the company’s other huge announcement – the App Center. It has a good chance of changing how people find and interact with Web and mobile apps. Developers can start submitting app pages, but Facebook has some suggestions to make app pages really shine on the App Center.

    One of the features of the App Center that should be clarified is the page on Facebook does not have the app hosted on it. If it’s a mobile app, it has a link to the Web page that the app is hosted on. One of the requirements is that the Web page can’t feature the single sign-on button on it. If the user goes to your site through Facebook, they should already be logged in via Facebook as soon as they hit your site. The company suggests that you use the JavaScript SDK and the FB.getLoginStatus call on the landing pages.

    It should come as standard, but developers should review their app settings. The settings are going to determine the look and layout of the app page so be sure to double check this information. Facebook uses the example of creating an iOS app that is featured on the App Center. Since it’s only available via iOS, the only link should be to iTunes through your App Store ID.

    Just like on iTunes and Google Play, your page should only feature high-quality images. Nobody wants to see low resolution images of your app as it reflects poorly on your as a developer. The other guidelines include images not being allowed to have buttons, excessive text, URLs, promotions, etc and screenshots should be of the actual experience. It’s really easy to spot a doctored screenshot and if you don’t have faith in your app’s aesthetics, why should the user?

    Taking another cue from the other app stores, Facebook App Center does not allow keyword loading in the names. They use the example of an app called, “Billiards.” You can’t list the name as “Billiards – Pool” because it’s not only sounds bad, but it also is an obvious attempt to get more results out of search.

    As far as App descriptions go, the usual rules like proper grammar and spelling apply. There is also another rule against the use of superflous symbols and unnecessary exclamation. So don’t go saying that your app is “the number one in the universe!!@~” or whatever it is you kids do these days to set yourself apart.

    Thankfully, all of this can be done over the course of a few days or in multiple sessions. You can save the work that you’ve done on the app detail page for another time. You can also preview how the app will look on the Web or on mobile to make sure that it looks great on both platforms. Don’t forget to submit the app page for review when you’re done though or else you’ll just forget about it.

    In a later update, Facebook will be letting developers know how they’re going to implement localization and translation of app pages. Does this mean that Facebook will be debuting some kind of translation software or will they be using their relationship with Microsoft to offer the Bing Translator to users?

    Developers have until tomorrow, May 18, to submit their apps for prioritized consideration. You can still submit apps after this date, but doing so by tomorrow should get your app into the launch window of the App Center. Hit up the app detail page and start creating. d

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