Facebook's launch in 2004, it has grown into a social networking beast despite
the addition of other social sites along the way like Twitter. There didn't
appear to be a suitable rival in sight, but when Google launched its own social
network back in June called Google+, many wondered if
it would be the next Facebook.
Despite Google+'s rapid growth, having achieved 10 million users a
little over two weeks since is launch and 20 million visitors about
a week later, its lack of apps and games has really set it apart from Facebook,
and according to some, has even hindered the potential growth of the site. For
instance, Ken Rutkowski, founder and president of Metal International, has
predicted that games could make Facebook the biggest bank by 2015.
But all of that is about to change, since Google announced yesterday that it is
adding games to Google+. Users will soon see a "Games" button at the
top of their stream, which allows them to browse recently added games, game
updates from their circles and game invites.
Some of the initial games that will be available at launch will be
"Bejeweled Blitz," "Bubble Island," "Angry
Birds," "City of Wonder," "Dragon Age Legends,"
"Collapse! Blast," "Crime City," "Diamond Dash,"
"Monster World," "Dragons of Atlantis," "Edge
World," "Flood-It!," "Zombie Lane," "Zynga
Poker," "Wild Ones," and "Sudoku."
Google+ is also welcoming game developer submissions in order to expand the
available game options on the site.
"With the Google+ project, we want to bring the nuance and richness of
real-life sharing to the web," said Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of
Engineering for Google. "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."
For those of you who saw games and apps as a nuisance on Facebook and dread the
thought of seeing it on Google+ too, Google assures that the games option will
not overrun your social experience. As the Official Google Blog put
it, "games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you
don't." They can be easily ignored, allowing your stream to continue
focusing on conversations with your circles. But if you ever feel that you want
to join in, the game button awaits you at the top of your stream.
Starting yesterday, Google plans to gradually present new games in Google+, and
says they will be fully available "soon."