Facebook announced that it will begin supporting paid apps, which will be featured and sold in its newly introduced App Center.

Previously, Facebook only supported free apps, but you were able to charge for in-app downloads — such as virtual goods or digital media — which required Facebook Credits.

The company is kicking things off with a beta program that lets you charge Facebook members a flat fee to use your apps — including both HTML5 apps and apps on Facebook.com.

“Many developers have been successful with in-app purchases, but to support more types of apps on Facebook.com, we will give developers the option to offer paid apps,” stated Facebook in yesterday’s blog post.

According to Facebook CFO David Ebersman, the social network is looking to support payments for other types of apps, not just games. Additionally, it’s considering lowering the 30 percent revenue share it charges developers for non-gaming apps.

Although a majority of transactions will continue to be driven by in-app purchases, this is a big step for the social network. A step that actually goes against the trend of moving away from paid apps toward free ones.

Few details are available at this time regarding how many developers will be involved in the beta. For those interested in participating, you’ll have to sign up to receive more details.

[Via: TechCrunch, Image credit: Paul Downey]