L'App Lab arrive enfin sur le Quest Store
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App Lab finally arrives on the Quest Store

by Nathan Chadaigne on May 29, 2024

Meta has begun the process of integrating unlisted App Lab apps into the main Quest Store, thereby tripling the number of discoverable apps.

A Long-Awaited Merger

App Lab, as many know, is the transition zone for apps that were not selected by Meta to be included in the main Quest Store. Until now, App Lab apps were effectively "unlisted," meaning they could not be discovered in the Quest Store unless you had a direct URL or searched for the exact name of the app.

After years of this separation as the norm, Meta has recently begun to merge App Lab with the main Quest Store, making App Lab apps discoverable through browsing and broader search terms.

Section App Lab

Before this merger, there were about 660 apps in the main Quest Store. While this represents the largest library of VR apps on a standalone headset, it pales in comparison to the 2,200 additional apps hidden in App Lab (data provided by VRDB).

With the inclusion of App Lab apps in the main Quest Store, users can now find more than 2,860 Quest apps, thereby tripling the initial number.

Why Did Meta Create the App Lab?

Meta's initial decision to separate App Lab apps was to ensure that only high-quality and original VR experiences (according to its own discretion) would appear before users. Smaller, less polished, or experimental apps remained hidden in App Lab. This left developers to find ways to promote their app without the help of browsing or recommendation features, even though Meta continued to take the same revenue cut.

And while it is true that many of the apps found on App Lab are of low quality, there are also many gems — many of which garnered enough attention to be promoted to the main Quest Store. In fact, one of Quest's most popular games to date, Gorilla Tag, became a viral success well before making the jump from App Lab to the main Quest Store.

However, developers argued that such apps might have found success sooner if they had not been hidden in the first place.

Strategic Turning Point

Despite the inclusion of 2,200 new apps in the main Quest Store, developers should not expect a surge in traffic. Meta still maintains some division between the two groups of apps; users browsing the store will need to deliberately navigate to the App Lab section to find this group of apps. However, Meta is making an effort to organize this large group of apps into browsable categories, similar to the way it does in the main store.

In the future, Meta plans to completely dissolve the App Lab section, fully absorbing App Lab games into the main Quest Store. At that point, the company will likely continue to mark some apps as "experimental" and rely entirely on curation to make the best content the most visible. With the barriers dissolved, one can hope there will be a more direct avenue for unexpected hits like Gorilla Tag to rise to the top.

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