Google’s social network, Google+ has launched it’s games section to further position the platform to compete head to head with Facebook. The initial launch includes 16 games. While the style and kind of games on Google+ is about what you’d expect to see on Facebook, Google has made several key enhancements to the game model to expand on their identity as the best things of Twitter and Facebook without the stuff that everyone hates about Twitter and Facebook.
In particular, the key element in Google+ games is that there is a tab where all game info resides. This means that, unlike Facebook, you won’t be constantly bombarded by automated notifications from the inane games all your Facebook friends are playing. Google+ games cannot interact directly with your stream — instead they can only output their information to the games tab.
Thus if you were interested in what your friends were doing on their games, you could go to the games tab and see a special stream of just game spam. But when you’re looking at your standard news feed on Google+ you will not see any of the game distraction.
And if you never want to see anything happening from any game anyone is playing, just don’t go to the games tab. This segregation of game spam alone is a huge quality of life improvement over Facebook and another point of differentiation and evolution of the social network. Now the question is how quick will Facebook be to adopt the same policy?
Note: Facebook announced a major update to their apps (games), including a redesign to the Canvas Page to give games more real-estate on the browser, and more real-time game updates. So apparently Facebook is going the opposite direction — making game spam more prominent, rather than reducing it or offering an option to opt out of all updates from all aps.
Another boost to the Google+ game market is that Google is only taking a 5% fee from any money transactions that game developers use to monetize their games — as opposed to the hefty 30% that Facebook takes. Google has said that this is an introductory commission rate and they haven’t decided yet what the final commission amount will be. You can bet that it will be significantly less than Facebook, however.