Google+ social network gets games in bid to rival Facebook
Google is looking to become a player in games in a bid to rival the popularity of Facebook.
The Internet search giant is rolling out games on its new social network Google+.
Games are one of the most popular features on Facebook. An investor in San Francisco social gaming company Zynga, Google aims to keep Facebook from dominating the lucrative market for social games, which has become a major revenue stream for the world's most popular social network with more than 750 million users.
Google+ will initially offer 16 games including the popular Angry Birds and Bejeweled Blitz. It said it’s looking to make more games available shortly.
Google is getting a quick jump on games after launching Google+ in late June. It has already signed up millions of users even though the service is still being tested and is invitation only.
Google+ is a direct challenge to Facebook ,which has been siphoning eyeballs and advertising dollars from Google as people spend more time on social networks.
In an interesting twist in the heated competition between the two tech giants, Facebook sent out a note to reporters right before the Google announcement that it was holding an event for game developers Thursday night, and that reporters were invited to try out new gaming products and speak with the developers at an event at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto on Friday.
Zynga, the social gaming company which has filed to sell shares to the public, built its business on Facebook. Now its titles will also be available on Google+, although only Zynga Poker to start, not FarmVille or CityVille.
Note: If you want to play games on Google+, you will have to grant the games access to information from your Google account.
For a few giggles about Google+, check out this video.
-- Jessica Guynn
Image: A screenshot of games in Google+. Credit: Google