Facebook wants you doing more stuff on Facebook. Earlier this week, users saw themselves Yenta’d back into stale relationships by Facebook’s long-lost-friend algorithm. Now the site is trying to lure you deeper into its apps and games, neither of which have been quite the pinnacle of technological achievement that they rightfully should be.
The new platform improvements smack of the iTunes App Store improvements Apple has been steadily rolling out as the store scales. Facebook will make apps more centrally located in the site’s layout; your apps will now live in the left nav bar, tempting you to waste time playing Facebook Scrabble instead of… wasting time on Facebook by some other method. The social network is also readying its user profiles to handle more apps by allowing users to “bookmark” their favorite ones.
Most importantly, it’s adding two new dashboards–one for games, one for other apps–to your Facebook homepage. And those dashboards will show you which apps your friends are using. Much like Apple’s “push” iPhone notifications, which help iPhoners play games with each other by zapping high-score challenges back and forth, the games dashboard on Facebook will notify you when, for example, it’s your move in a chess game.
Lastly, apps will be given the power to issue email notifications, exercise more discretion over spam, and provide more granular privacy control. Check out the full explanation over at the Facebook blog.