Google+: Now with games

Google has added games, including the wildly popular Angry Birds, to its exploding social network Google+.

“We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life”, Google senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra said in an official blog post. He went on to say that the new feature was gradually being rolled out on the new social network.

“When you’re ready to play, the Games page is waiting.”

Along with global game sensation Angry Birds, the initial array of offerings available at Google+ includes Bejeweled Blitz, Zynga Poker, and Dragon Age Legends.

A standalone version of Crime City, a game which borrows heavily from the Grand Theft Auto series and lets Google+ members play as a ruthless gangster in an urban environment.

The version of Crime City designed for Facebook leapt to popularity after being released in September last year.

“We’re excited to partner with Google to bring Crime City to Google+ users”, said Ken Chiu, chief executive of Funzio. “We can’t wait to release more great games on Google+ in the future.”

Just hours after Google+ added games, Facebook unveiled a set of new features for playing online with friends.

“When you’re playing games, you’ll now see a separate stream of your friends’ game activity, scores and achievements in a ticker,” Facebook’s Jared Morgenstern said in a post on the social network’s blog.

“The best way to find new games is through friends, and now you’ll have more opportunities to see what they’re playing,” he continued.

Facebook increased the screen size of games, and made it easier to bookmark favourite titles or adjust settings regarding which friends can see what is being played, according to Morgenstern.

While Google+ may be the fastest-growing social network ever, it remains to be seen whether it can pose a serious threat to the social networking titan Facebook, which has more than 750-million members.

It was announced that Google+ had reached 10-million users just two weeks after it had launched. Just four weeks later, the social network had reached 25-million users. Based on ComScore, the biggest country to use Google+ is in the US followed by India.

Google+ has created new social services such as “Google Profiles” and “Google Buzz”, and introduces new services “Circles”, “Hangouts”, “Sparks”, and “Huddles”.

Games are among the most popular activities at Facebook, where social game startup Zynga rose to stardom with titles like Farmville.



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