For all the hype it has gotten and all the users it has gained, it’s easy to forget that Google+ has only been out for a month and a half. But they’re moving fast to ensure they don’t flop again in the social space. And today brings the biggest “next step” yet: Games.
Gaming has obviously been a huge part of the success of Facebook over the years. It has been so popular, in fact, that one company, Zynga, has become a major player in the gaming space, and will soon go public as a result. And guess who is on board with Google+ Games too? Yep. Zynga.
Before you get too excited, no, Google+ won’t have FarmVille or CityVille (those may be exclusive to Facebook via deal the two forged), but they will have Zynga Poker. And you can be sure other titles are coming. You may recall that Google made an investment in Zynga a while back. This was something which we reported but both sides danced around confirming for months. Of course, Zynga’s S-1 doesn’t lie. And this launch is exactly why such an investment makes sense.
But Zynga isn’t the only player bringing games to Google+. In fact, they may not even be the most hyped. Google+ also gains Angry Birds on day one of gaming. Other popular games like Bejeweled Blitz are here as well.
Here’s what Google has to say:
Today we’re 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.
And here’s how it will work within Google+:
When you’re ready to play, the Games page is waiting—click the games button at the top of your stream. You can see the latest game updates from your circles, browse the invites you’ve received and check out games that people you know have played recently. The Games page is also where your game accomplishments will appear. So you can comfortably share your latest high score—your circles will only see the updates when they’re interested in playing games too.
Most importantly, says Google:
If you’re not interested in games, it’s easy to ignore them. Your stream will remain focused on conversations with the people you care about.
Google is also asking developers interesting in making games for the platform to check out their new Google+ Developer Blog.
Google says the Games roll-out on G+ will be gradual. It starts today for some users.
A Google project headed by Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz, Google+ is designed to be the social extension of Google. Its features focus on making online sharing easy for users. “Circles,” think social circles, akin to Facebook’s lists. “Sandbar,” a user-unifying toolbar. “Sparks,” a search engine for sharing content between users. “Messenger,” a group messaging app that allows users to share with certain “Circles.” “Hangouts,” group video chatting designed to allow up to 10 users video chat at once. Each Google+ user can replace his...