Google+ pokes Facebook by treating users with games

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A screenshot of Angry Birds, a popular online game that is proving to be a major success on the games platform of Google+.

Google+ has added games to its site from developers such as Zynga Inc. and Rovio Entertainment Oy. The initial developers of games included Wooga GmbH, Funzio Inc. and Kabam Inc. Critics believe Google is playing along the lines of Facebook.

We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life, Vic Gundotra, senior vice president, Google’s engineering department said in a blog. The features allow the players to take full control of the games such as how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. The games are available on demand.

Just as Google+ prioritizes the user’s privacy preferences, the games features are also designed keeping privacy concerns in mind. The updates about games will stay within the Games page; it will not interfere with those who are not enthusiastic gamers.

Google+, which was unveiled in June, is the latest effort from Google to compete against other social sites such as Facebook Inc., Twitter etc. Facebook has attracted users to its site with games from providers such as Zynga and Kabam. According to conScore Inc, which measures the impact of sites, Google+ had 25 million visitors at the end of July.

Initially, Zynga will make take 5% of the cut for in-application purchases, which is similar to the percentage of revenue-sharing rates across Google products on the Web. Facebook currently gets 30 percent of all the purchases made within games, through its payment system called Facebook Credits.

Google shares rose by 2.4 percent to reach $562.13 at the weekend. The shares had dropped 5.4 percent early this year.

Google’s blog sounded upbeat about the new development which intends to unseat Facebook’s domination over social network gaming. “Today were adding games to Google+. 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.”

Social network market

Mohammed El-Zubeir, managing director at Mediastow, thinks social network market is a constantly changing platform. Facebook lost about 6 million users in the US alone. He suggested a saturation point from where the services get burned out. Google has been constantly trying to enter social networking platform with ideas such as Waves and Buzz but did not succeed. Google Plus is an ambitious effort from Google Inc readying to capture the social networking market.

The Google Plus features look similar to that of Facebook, however, the search engine giant’s services have an advantage with specialized platforms unlike Facebook, which uses one interface for all its services. With the games feature, Google+ is on the right track and hopes to add new users daily. Google is also counting on enthusiastic developers to develop games for their platform.

Sources: Techcrunch.com, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, Ameinfo.com

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