Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

Summary: Facebook has closed down its App Directory, asking developers to just submit their apps to the search index.


Facebook is closing down its App Directory. The company noted that the directory was being axed "in its current form" but wouldn't elaborate further. Maybe Facebook will relaunch the feature at some point, but for now the social networking giant expects its users to find apps by searching for them.

At first glance, that may seem ridiculous. Facebook makes a decent argument, however, saying that less than 0.5 percent of all app installations come from the App Directory. Unfortunately, Facebook would not reveal what percentage of app installations comes from search, it merely say that it is a "significant number."

Until now, to be visible in search, you had to submit your app to the App Directory. Now, in the Developer pane for apps, Facebook has included a "Submit to Search" link in the Related links area on the left-hand side.

If you have more than 10 monthly active users, you can click the link and Facebook will submit your app to its search index. The company admitted it can still take up to 72 hours before a newly submitted app appears in Facebook's search listings.

As before, there is no approval process for launching a Facebook app. When you make a change to your app settings, Facebook will automatically update the listing.

"Many developers have been confused about what it means to submit to the App Directory and frustrated by the length of time it took to get approved," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We do not expect any noticeable decrease in traffic to your apps as a result of these changes and continue to focus our energy on social channels that deliver meaningful distribution to your apps."

I suspect the App Directory was barely used because it wasn't really featured on the website. Search is hardly the best way to discover apps; it's only useful if you know what you're looking for. Facebook needs a more prominent feature that showcases which apps all your friends are using (there's Friends' Apps but it's not easy to find). I don't have a single app installed on my Facebook account, but I would consider one or two if friends who I value highly were using them.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

    They'll probably become more developer friendly when they begin losing users.
  • RE: Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

    Aww man. That's what google is for.
  • Facebook is scared

    Mark will want to get that IPO out quick.
    • RE: Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

      Too late! As someone who invests heavily in IPO's, I wouldn't touch a fb ipo with my ex-wife's money. Three important events have occurred:
      1) Facebook maxed out it's US membership
      2) Google+
      3) Facebook is locking in user data out of fear of Google+

      A fb ipo has it's best chance in the middle of December when investors need to offset earnings with losses to reduce capital gains taxes. If the market keeps going at the pace it's at now, investors will be looking for some serious losses come December and buying into a fb ips is essentially as good as a guaranteed loss as anything.
  • I Used App Directory ALL the Time

    As a developer of custom Facebook pages we used the custom tab apps all the time. To just close down the app directory without a peep is just another example of Facebooks "let them eat cake" attitude forcing us to once again scramble and figure things out for ourselves. And when you look at their help feature to locate apps, as of this writing (after the app directory was closed) the link in the help area still points to the old, now gone, app directory. Classic!
  • RE: Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

    Facebook needs lot of money to fight vs G+, the facebook credit for us is a drop of 90% of our sells, i imagine that FB notice the problem to sell things :) . I think they notice tahat in this way they cant reach the millions $ they quickly need. They get an other way to earn quickly money :)
    The plan is simple : cut off all virality more and more = benefit add more and more.
    As game dev on facebook we loose 7.5% new incomer the first day without directory, today seems worse...
    I expect other changes making our life worse and worse in the incoming weeks... Hope G+ is coming soon, Fb are killing them selfs.
  • RE: Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

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  • RE: Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

    Does anyone know of an application that you can use to create a gallery of stories for people to comment and browse through? I'm working on making an application for my tab and I was going to check the App Directory but it no longer exists. Any feedback is appreciated!

    Andrew S.
    <a href="http://www.justbathvanities.com/">Just Bath Vanities</a>
  • RE: Facebook kills App Directory, wants users to search for apps

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  • 0.5% installations start exponential WOM that become 99.5%

    OK, so if 0.5% of installations came from the app directory, didn't anyone ask what influence those installations had on all those downstream of them? If I install an app from the directory and 10 of my friends see it, and 10 of their's, etc. of course the FIRST installation will be a tiny tiny percentage, but the ROLE it played being the first in an exponential series event is 99.5%.

  • We demand that Facebook brings back the Application Directory back right no

    Kimberly Poaps
    • We demand that Facebook brings back the Application Directory back

      We demand that Facebook brings back the Application Directory back right now
      Kimberly Poaps
  • We demand the facebook brings back the Application Directory back right now

    We demand the facebook brings back the Application Directory back right now https://www.facebook.com/groups/kimeberly/?fref=ts
    Kimberly Poaps