Google+, the social network that was first unveiled just over one month ago, is getting its first upgrade: games, much like another social networking giant we all know. Could this be the first phase of making Google+ a social entertainment hub?
Rumors that social gaming would soon be making its way into the social network emerged early last month, when references to “Google+ Games” were found in the website’s source code. Over 1 month later, Google has finally disclosed it.
Google+ Games will work in an unobtrusive way, by simply adding a new “Games” button at the top of the screen, next to the “Circles” icon and the search bar. Clicking on that link will lead to a dashboard with all the games currently available, as well as other statistics. Since this feature hasn’t yet been rolled out to us, Google has described at length on its official blog:
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.
Unlike Facebook, where all played games are automatically displayed on user’s streams unless they’re manually hidden, Google+ is making sure that users who enjoy a distraction-free environment can easily ignore them: outside the previously mentioned “Games” tab, there won’t be a single reference to Games. Essentially, if you don’t enjoy this feature you can simply ignore it for good.
In order to populate its “game center”, Google has partnered up with Zynga, which has authored several other popular Facebook games, to develop an initial set of games for Google+. For now, Google has decided to work with a narrow range of partners than open its platform up to everyone, which contrasts with the way the company has treated developers in the past, yet, according to Google, this move will make sure that all games available are high-quality, as Google explained on its newly-launched Google+ development blog:
Hopefully, this new feature will help maintain interest in the platform without alienating much of its current user base. We’re quite certain you won’t be disappointed by the current offering of games as you can see from the screen cap below:
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