As it prepares to do battle with Facebook, Google continues to improve Google+ to give it the best possible chance in its bid to take over the crown of social network king. Google just announced its latest weapon is games.
In a post published to its blog, Vic Gundotra, Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering, wrote:
“With the Google+ project, we want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web. But sharing is about more than just conversations.
“The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life.
“That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.”
Games aren’t available for everyone just yet; they’re rolling out gradually but should be “fully available to everyone in Google+ soon,” according to the blog post. Hopefully, by the time they reach us all there will also be a slightly larger selection.
At the moment there’s just 16 titles altogether, though that does include some big name games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz, Bubble Island, Diamond Dash, and Zynga Poker.
Introducing games to Google+ is undoubtedly a great move by Google if it’s going to get serious about competing with Facebook. Hundreds of millions of users sign in to Facebook every week to get their game on, and our addictions to titles like Farmville and Bejeweled are just what Google+ needs to feed if it wants us to keep visiting the site.
Unlike Facebook, however, Google+ intends to keep gaming under control, which should mean that those of us who aren’t into online gaming aren’t bombarded with requests from our friends every time we login. Google says that “games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.” Hooray!
To find out whether you already have access to games in Google+, look out for the new ‘Games’ button which will be added to the top of your stream — next to the one for ‘Circles’.
Have you got games in Google+ yet, and what do you think to this new feature?