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80,259 News Articles

Why Google+ Games Might Not Annoy

Google has learned from Facebook's missteps and could easily segregate game-players to their own circles

As Harry McCracken and other tech pundits have noted, one of the nice things about Google+ is how little noise there is compared to Facebook. Now there's a hint that it'll stay that way even after Google starts building games into the service.

Slashgear's Chris Davies discovered a Google+ help page that describes how users can see different sources of content in their streams. "If you're looking for updates shared from games, check out your Games stream," the page said. (Google has since removed this reference from the page in question, which isn't surprising because Google+ doesn't have any games yet.)

From this notice, it sounds like Google will relegate game-related updates to a separate feed, addressing a common Facebook complaint that no one cares whether you need donuts to feed hungry cops in Cityville. Facebook users have only limited control over game-related updates. If you see a post from a game you don't like, you can click "X" in the top-right corner and hide all posts from that app, but that method requires a lot of maintenance and isn't obvious to users.

Developers may prefer Facebook's method, because it serves as free advertising even if it annoys some users. But as Tricia Duryee reports for All Things Digital, Google may try to lure developers by taking a smaller cut of in-game revenues than the 30 percent that Facebook demands. Google may also promise faster game performance by hosting games on its own servers.

In any case, if Google+ games really will appear in a separate stream, I hope that doesn't negate the ability to put fellow gamers into social circles. If Farmville players, for instance, could create a social circle to discuss strategy with their fellow farmers, that'd help Google+ stand even further apart from Facebook.

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