I have to admit that I’ve never really been one to use a long list of Facebook apps. At least, not the sort that are used from right inside Facebook. Of course, technically Facebook apps aren’t just the ones that you use inside Facebook. Any time you connect a browser plugin, a mobile app or a blog add-on to your Facebook account, you’ve just activated a Facebook app, and provided it with permissions to access your Facebook information or to post to your wall.
If you’re curious just what apps are actually available out there, and if you’ve never heard of or used the Facebook App Center, it’s the one central place where you can find just about every available Facebook app inside and outside of Facebook.
Important Features Of Facebook App Center
If you’ve never used it before, the Facebook App Center is basically a browser for all Facebook apps. What makes it nice is that things are categorized and sorted in a variety of ways in a single page, depending what part of the page you look at.
The left side of the app center are the major categories of apps – games, news, photos and more. There are also three buttons you can use that group the displayed apps up by either web-based apps or mobile-based apps. This makes it faster to find the apps you want if you’re only looking for the ones for your phone or website.
If you’re just interested in the apps that you can use while you’re logged into Facebook – typically the ones that show up in your stream – just scroll to the right side of the app center. There’s a large graphic that says “Timeline Apps“, where you’ll find all of those.
There are actually a lot of pretty cool apps in the “Web” section, in my opinion. This is an area where you may discover new ways to interact with your Facebook account at other websites across the net, like The Guardian app at the Huffington Post or the Goodreads app as two examples.
In the center listing area where all of the apps are displayed, you can order these by “Top Rated“, “Trending” or “Top Grossing“.
I like visiting the “Trending” and “Top Rated” sections every so often to see what most people are using right now, and what apps are suddenly gaining traction. Not surprisingly, Pinterest has been up there at the top for a little while now.
If you scroll all the way to the right side of the window, you’ll see a pane entitled “Friends’ Apps“, which is fun to check out sometimes. It shows you which apps your Facebook friends use to waste their time while online. Unfortunately it doesn’t show how much time they spend using the apps, otherwise you’d have some great inside info to tease them with!
By the way, some of the major categories in the app center are further broken down into subcategories, especially the Games section which organizes game apps all the way from action and adventure to strategy and trivia.
Now, when it comes to app notifications – I have to be honest and say that they annoy me to no end. I wish Facebook had never invented them. Game requests are the silliest and most irritating part of Facebook. With that said, I know a lot of people that love them, because they give you another way to interact with friends through games.
If you missed any and want to see all of your latest app notifications, just scroll down the App Center page and click on “Requests“.
Here’s where you can see the latest requests for all of the apps you’ve signed up for. The one thing that I do find it useful for are the birthday reminders that I get from the MyCalendar app. I forget birthdays constantly, and by checking here I can make sure I’m on top of wishing people that I know a happy birthday…and they are led to believe that I have a great memory.
Another cool feature at the Facebook App Center is the Recently Used Apps section to the right side of the window. This shows you all apps that have connected with your Facebook account, regardless where you connected from – app or mobile.
I see this as a nice feature because it can alert you to apps accessing your account that you didn’t know about or don’t remember authorizing. In the Recently Used Apps section, there should be absolutely no surprises.
If you’re researching the best apps to bestow the honor of providing access to your account, this section of Facebook also gives you a useful review feature so you can see which apps are worthwhile and which aren’t. You’ll see from one to five stars beside each app, but furthermore, you can hover your mouse over those stars and see a more useful breakdown of total votes, and how those votes were distributed.
Believe it or not, I haven’t yet installed Yelp on my Droid even though I’ve been meaning to. To install an app on your mobile straight from the Facebook App Center, just click on the App title and you’ll go to the App description page. Click on “Send to Mobile” to install the app on your mobile device – or at least “send” it to your device, where you’ll need to accept and install it.
This will only work properly if you’ve set up your mobile device on your Facebook account, under “Account Settings“, and then click on “Mobile”.
If your phone number isn’t set up, just add your mobile number and you’re good to go.
As you can see, there’s more to the Facebook App Center than just reviewing available Facebook apps. You can check out what your friends are up to on Facebook, review recent notifications from the apps you’ve signed up for, and you can generally bask in Facebook app sunshine – if that’s your cup of tea.
Are you an app fiend? Do you play a lot of games or social activities on Facebook? We’d like to hear how you make use of Facebook. Share your own ideas and app preferences with everyone in the comments section below.