June 7, 2012 at 9:19 PM ET
Facebook launched its own App Center late Thursday, offering users of the social network more than 600 apps from which to choose, from games like "Words with Friends" and "Marvel: Avengers Alliance" to lifestyle, news, sports, travel, photo and video programs.
Apps will be both free and paid. Users in the U.S. are the first to get the App Center, and it will be rolled out to all of Facebook's nearly 1 billion users in the coming weeks.
The center lets you browse apps by various ways, including by what's trending, top grossing and what apps your friends have. It's almost a little weird to see their names by apps you're perusing. For example, the app for Instagram, which Facebook is in the process of buying, shows 12 million users, and includes the names of those folks I'm Facebook friends with.
With Facebook's big push for mobile on — with half of its users accessing the site from their phones — the App Center is also available in the Facebook iOS and Android apps, as well as at Facebook.com
Matt Wyndowe of Facebook said on the company's news site that users can send apps they find on their computers to their mobile devices using the new "Send to Mobile" feature. "If a mobile app requires a download, you’ll be sent to install it from the Apple App Store or Google Play," he wrote.
Every app in the App Center has screenshots and a detailed description, so you can learn more about it before installing it. It helps you control your privacy by showing the information an app needs and letting you choose who can see your activity on Facebook. If you decide you want to use an app, you can get started directly from the App Center.
To learn more about Facebook's App Center, you can watch a screencast here.