Google+: games arrive (and Facebook reacts)
As expected, games are now available on the Google+ social network. The availability of entertainment options has gotten a reaction from Facebook.
Games are a very popular past time on Facebook, so it’s no surprise that Google+ has now added the same possibility. Numerous clues already indicated that this would be the case, and on the Google+ help pages there were already brief mentions of a Games Stream.
The full games help pages have now been added to Google+, with Google officially announcing on their blog the games which will soon be made available. The deployment will be progressive, with Google+ still in testing and reserved to a limited number of users (more than 25 million at the end of July according to comScore).
Casual gaming on Google+ will get attention not paid to the rest of the social networks offering, as it will have a separate stream available just for it. At the top of Google+, a games icon is displayed to the right of Circles, with this giving access to hits like Angry Birds and Zinga Poker.
Social games are a big selling point and will attract internet users to Google+, but: "if you aren’t interested in games, they are very simple to ignore. Your stream will instead be centred on conversations with your friends and contacts", insists Google. It is therefore easy to see that Google wants to clearly mark the difference between them and Facebook.
Users will be able to see high scores, games that their friends have recently played and invitations to play all from this Games page. "Your circles will only see the updates when they are also interested in playing these games".
To purchase virtual goods, Google Checkout will be called upon. Developers being invited to show their interest.
Facebook has already reacted
The announcement that Google+ would be offering games didn’t go past Facebook without a comment, as the social network who counts more than 750 million users – including 200 million gamers – announced new functions for their own platform.
When a Facebook user plays a game, they can see a separate stream of their friends gaming activities and scores… Some games like CityVille, Zoo World, Monster World and Mystery Manor will also benefit from a larger screen display. Users can also bookmark their favourite games so that they can access them faster.
Between Google+ and Facebook, the casual gaming battle is just heating up.
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