There’s no doubt left; Facebook has operating system envy. We’ve seen traces of it before, but now it’s obvious. Facebook wants to turn its website into a full-fledged operating system, essentially creating a giant walled graden within the web, possibly even creating its very own Internet, within the actual Internet. How will they be doing that? Facebook announced on Wednesday that it will be launching a full App Center in the near future on its website, iOS, and Android devices:[quote]In the coming weeks, people will be able to access the App Center on the web and in the iOS and Android Facebook apps. All canvas, mobile and web apps that follow the guidelines can be listed. All developers should start preparing today to make sure their app is included for the launch.[/quote]
If it feels like a bit of a twilight zone episode, just wait until you hear this next bit. If you’re using Facebook’s App Center, and you find something worth downloading, the App Center app will redirect you through to the iOS App Store or Google Play store to download the actually application. So now, we not only have Facebook wanting to be an Internet within the actual Internet, but now they also want to be an App Store within an App Store. Fun times.
As funny as the premise sounds, this is also a giant tell that Facebook could be working on its own mobile device. Why would the company go to great lengths like this to create these meta app marketplaces if they had no intention of eventually offering up their downloads themselves? It’s called locking in their customers. This is step one in conditioning the Facebook masses to use Facebook services over the competition’s services. We’re not sure when step two is going to occur, but we’re pretty certain that it will at some point, and that it will be another step in locking them into the platform. What better way to do that than offer them a Facebook smartphone.