Every few days, the rivalry between Google+ and Facebook enters a new chapter. On Thursday, games took center stage.
Earlier in the day (about noon EDT), the news was that Google+ had released its first round of games for its growing social network. Not just any games, but the most-recently viral smash Angry Birds, and the perennially popular Bejeweled.
"We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life," writes Vic Gundotra, Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering. "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."
Additionally, it was announced (after several weeks of no comment by either party) that game developer Zynga was on board -- not with Facebook hits like Farmville or Cityville, but with the brand-obvious Zynga Poker, and undoubtedly more to come.
Observers have been expecting this move for quite some time -- in fact, a "Product Management Leader, Games." classified ad popped up over a year ago, long before Google+ was a twinkle in many tech reporters' eyes, and the Zynga partnership had been understood (if technically unconfirmed) for about as long. At the very least, a quick leak of a "Games stream" screenshot was available a month ago via VentureBeat.
A sour note was quickly sounded when users were asked for permission to use some information -- including email address and the names of people in the user's circles. "This information might be used by the game to do things like suggesting with whom the user may want to play the game," explained a Google spokesperson to PC Magazine, "or to whom they may want to send gifts and messages."
And a few hours later, Google's limelight was stolen -- slightly -- when Facebook rolled out a number of new enhancements for its popular games. An expanded screen mode is something that many players have been requesting for some time, allowing for more viewable area than the typically-cramped Farmville view (for example). A Game Ticker provides a constant stream of game info about friends, scores, and achievements -- useful for knowing when your preferred social players are online.
James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. Omni Financial Tax Help can have garnishments and or levies released in as little as 3 - 5 days and resolve tax matters in as little as 30 days. Now that's tax help in action.