Game on: G+ gets in, FB attacks back!
Sandeep Amar, Head - Marketing and Audience, Indiatimes

Google+ launched games as part of the offerings on it social network. The web based games will include popular games like angry birds, bejeweled and others from house of Zynga. Facebook has called a press conference in the evening to probably talk on the same topic.

The games icon will appear on the top of the G+ stream page, and you can click the icon and start gaming right away. You can share the scores and compete with other users in your circles.

This is the screenshot shared by Google:

The gaming icon will be available to limited users and slowly will be available to all users.

It is important to note that gaming has been popular on Facebook especially Farmville and some other games by Zynga. Zynga is also a developer for G+ and will start with Zynga Poker. Google plus claims in excess of 10 million user base, which seems to be growing very fast. The gaming can add fuel to that growth and potentially pose a challenge for Facebook in time to come.

It is amazing to see the convergence of internet services on social platforms – chat, email, gaming and so on. A majority of the credit for this may be given to G+, as it launched these services on a single platform. With the Google top bar - once you are logged in, you can seamlessly move into plus, mail, search, reader, documents, calendar and within plus one can do video chat, reading articles and now play games. The Facebook was quick to introduce some of the features and we hope for an important announcement in the conference. The key feature Facebook has to really work on is a great email service; this is one big missing link from their value chain. One wonders how soon Facebook launches a web search utility on its platform (currently it is a bing powered service). The Chinese networks like QQ offer multilayered solutions and micropayments which help them make billions of dollars in revenues.

The Google announcement also invited the developers:

“If you’re a developer interested in building games for Google+, you can learn more on our new Google+ developer blog.” 

The developer space could be an important war front for both Google and Facebook. They both will try to impress upon developers to build games for their respective platforms. The Facebook announcement has included an event for game developers and asked them to follow the Facebook developer blog for next announcement.

Update: Facebook says: Game on too!

It was still night in India, when I finished the first part. Therefore making the update in the un-published blog. Facebook came out with announcements (Facebook Blog / Developer Blog) on gaming with new features. The canvas is redesigned with a fluid central area:

There are bookmarks on the top for apps and games, there is a real time social app ticker, you can publish games scores and achievements and with the fluid canvas you can adjust the canvas width in the app settings. Even the left navigation will change with a separate tab for apps and favorites, to qualify news feeds and other information. For developers the following link may be useful with examples of games in fluid canvas and other features:

The fluid canvas for a game will look like this:

I think this looks really exciting and the gaming feed with friend’s updates makes it better than the G+ interface. Also the favorites tab can be really helpful to control your news feed, a feature I personally will use a lot:

All in all the competition looks fierce and things are going to hot up in the future. As new announcements keep coming, look for more convergence and more features coming in your Facebook and G+ accounts. Exciting times ahead, game on!!