Google Opens Chrome Web Store to Developers
First announced at Google's I/O earlier this year, the Google Chrome Web Store is now in developer preview mode, giving developers a chance to test the platform before it is officially open for business.
This gives developers time to experiment with how the store works, play around with payments and figure our how to install apps within the Google Chrome web browser (the Webstore will be for apps, extensions, and themes).
From my perspective, this is another sign that Google is working to change the way people consume content on the web, the same way Apple changed the mobile industry with their App Store.
Before the Apple App Store there was a classic chicken and egg scenario. Consumers did not spend money on apps, which created no incentive for developers to create them. But when Apple launched the iPhone, accumulating a massive user base drawn to its great product and brand, it was able to launch the App Store with a ton of developers on board. Apple successfully centralized mobile apps. Suddenly, there was a horde of developers working to create simple apps, reach millions of users through the App Store, and make a lot of money. Like Apple, Google already has critical mass, and a well-known brand, which are important elements to doing this successfully.
Google wants end users to be able to easily find new apps on the web, a difficult task today, and to get them used to start spending money on web applications, especially in a micropayment kind of way. Once live, developers can easily access the millions of users who are going to be looking for cool apps to install (and be able to easily charge users).
This isn't a new scenario. Attract lots of users who use your platform and like your brand, encourage developers to create great content with the promise of millions of consumers, drive users to install (and pay for) apps, and watch the whole system snowball. With the Google Chrome Web Store, which strongly mimics the Apple App Store, the conundrum of how to find users who want your apps –and are willing to pay for them—goes away. This is a boon for developers and consumers alike.