Google+ gets games to take on Facebook
Google has added games to its social-media service as it ramps up Google+ in a bid to challenge Facebook.
According to the company, Google+ games will be made available across the network incrementally – with 16 games ready for launch, including Zynga Poker and Angry Birds – and scores will be shared amongst friends, depending on settings.
“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,” said Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president for engineering at Google on a company blog.
“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.”
The launch marks the latest addition to a social network that has attracted 25 million subscribers since launch in its battle with Facebook, a company that grew with the popularity of games such as Mafia Wars and Farmville.
According to analysts, having the right games could make a difference in Google’s push for parity with Facebook, which boasts more than 600 million users, because games can increase site “stickiness” and spark repeat visits.
“It turns out that people like to play games, and it’s core to the social-networking use case,” Jeremy Liew, a partner at venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, told Reuters.