As Facebook is ready for the possibility of being detached from Google Play app store on Android phones, it is now looking to launch its own Android app store to compete with Google Play, according to a report by The Information.
Although, the social networking giant has no such plans to split with Google, it is planning to announce a separate app store for Android devices that don’t have Google Play installed currently, according to the report. However, Facebook declined to react on the matter.
As known, Google today controls the vast majority of the Android market, yet there are still some notable exceptions including Chinese handset manufacturers that have relied for long on their own or third-party app stores since Google is not doing business in mainland China.
Besides these, there are also third-party Android distributors in other parts of Russia, Asia, and other developing countries that aren’t using Google’s official app store. Considering them, it is speculated that Facebook could offer these companies an alternative to Google Play and give them a platform for more credibility as well as revenue cut for any paid apps.
Technically, this wouldn’t be the first app store by Facebook; the company already runs the Oculus app store on selective Samsung phones along its Gear VR headset. Users are already able to download free and paid apps and games through that store to use with the Gear VR.
Google doesn’t permit companies to distribute anything that look like an app store through Google Play. This means that Android apps distributed via Google’s app store cannot generate the download of other independent apps without Google Play. Oculus and Facebook are by-passing this issue through their cooperation with Samsung, yet that still may not be enough to ease Google.
In the past, the company has fought with Samsung on the matter of control over Android and forced the handset maker to stop plans to customize the Android experience and restrain Google’s involvement. In such a scenario, Facebook’s plans for a separate app store could just be a card to play in negotiations with Google.