Facebook brings keyword search to App Center

Facebook is rolling out search for App Center, allowing users to not only find apps by name but also by keyword such as “cars” or “fitness.”

This change will help users better navigate App Center, which previously offered filters by category but no direct search. The main search bar in the Facebook header wasn’t always helpful, either, since it searches people, pages, places, groups and everything else on Facebook. Plus, it does not yet offer keyword search. If users don’t know the title of what they are looking for, it isn’t very helpful.

App Center is more focused on discovery and surfacing web, mobile and canvas apps that users are likely to be interested in based on other apps they’ve tried and what their friends use. App Center allows users to see photos and read details about an app before adding it. These details are now indexed in App Center search, and Facebook says there are no changes or additional requirements for developers. The company did not offer details about the search ranking system, but it is likely a combination of keyword relevance, MAU, star ratings, friend connections and more.

In a blog post Wednesday night, Facebook announced that it would allow developers to create Sponsored Results ads for their canvas apps through the App Dashboard in four steps. Developers can create more targeted search ads through the Power Editor or the API, as was available previously. Sponsored Results appear in the main search typeahead, and for now there are no ads in the App Center search module.

In early October, Facebook said 220 million people visit the App Center each month, and compared to users of the previous Apps and Games dashboard, users who discover apps through App Center are 40 percent more likely to return to the app the next day.

This post originally appeared on our sister site, Inside Facebook.

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