App Center recommendation engine drives more repeat app users than previous Facebook games dashboard

Facebook today revealed that users who discover apps through App Center are 40 percent more likely to return to the app the next day compared to users of the previous Apps and Games dashboard.

Facebook App Center, which launched in June and became available worldwide on Aug. 1, is a personalized section of the desktop and mobile site to help users discover new apps on Facebook, mobile and the web. It focuses on surfacing high quality apps that users are likely to be interested in based on other apps they’ve tried and what their friends use.

In a note, Facebook engineers involved with App Center explained the technical challenges of building such a recommendation engine. They said App Center is similar to News Feed in that it learns users’ preferences to serve recommendations that are “timely, socially relevant and unique to them.” Demographic information, friend activity and a user’s history with apps all factor into Facebook’s app recommendation algorithm.

As for determining quality, Facebook uses a combination of star ratings and daily active user totals. Facebook conducts random sampling to collect star ratings shortly after someone has used an app. Facebook takes an app’s average rating and then includes a confidence adjustment based on the total number of ratings the app has. The company also considers an app’s average daily active users rather than monthly active since MAU can be skewed by spikes in activity throughout the month.

This recommendation engine — along with longer app descriptions, more images and additional information about which friends use an app or what in-game purchase is most popular — make App Center a better way for users to learn about apps than the previous apps and games dashboard.

Facebook says 220 million people visit the App Center each month. Users have been prompted to visit with links on the login page and above News Feed. In today’s blog post Facebook officially announced the My Apps section of App Center where users can manage the apps they’ve added and control their permissions settings — something reader Ryan Plant first pointed out to us in August.

Image credit: Ryan Plant

Publish date: October 3, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT