How Facebook knows which apps you want

Facebook's engineers say the app recommendation engine helps developers reach the roughly 220 million people who visit the App Center each month.

Facebook App Center Facebook

Facebook says its app recommendation engine, which runs on your data, has become a major way for developers to get to the millions of users who visit the App Center each month.

In a developers blog post today, Facebook estimates that every month, some 220 million people visit the App Center, which went live in the U.S. in May and globally in August.

"We built the App Center to give the growing audience of app users a central place on Facebook to browse apps. However, given the multitude of apps that use Facebook, recommending the right apps to the right people is a tough challenge. We needed to build a system that could handle large-scale data and traffic, respond quickly, and incorporate user feedback in realtime," the post said.

In addition to outlining how Facebook's engineers make the recommendation run off user data, the post gives a glimpse into Facebook's search engine potential -- something Facebook has made clear it wants to pursue.

Engineers base app recommendations on a mix of factors such as a user's demographics, friends' activities, and past Likes or interactions. This, combined with techniques like real-time updates, allows Facebook to harness data and bring up apps you're more likely to use, engineers say.

 

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