August 11, 2011 / 8:30 PM / 7 years ago

Google+ social network gets games

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - People who use Google Inc’s social network Google+ will be able to play games, a feature available on its biggest rival Facebook.

People walk past a logo next to the main entrance of the Google building in Zurich March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A new page on Google+ allows access to a variety of games and updates about games that people’s friends are playing, Google said in a blog post on Thursday.

Google first will offer 16 games from third-party developers, including the popular Angry Birds game.

Adding games is a fresh challenge to Facebook, the world’s No.1 social network with more than 750 million users.

Games are one of Facebook’s most popular features, with Zynga’s Farmville and Electronic Arts division Playfish’s Restaurant City drawing millions of users every month.

Google, which has made an unspecified investment in Zynga, will offer Zynga Poker on Google+.

Google launched its social networking service in June, signing up more than 10 million users in the first two weeks.

Social networking has become a priority at Google, the world’s No. 1 Internet search engine company, whose position as the main gateway to online information could be at risk as people spend more time on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Google said it will roll out games gradually on Google+, and will make the game feature available to everyone “soon.”

Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic. Editing by Andre Grenon and Robert MacMillan

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