Google Going for Games
One of the common complaints about Google+'s early efforts is that there hasn't been much to do besides choose which circle to put the odd passing friend in. Now though, there's a host of fun games to play where you can compare scores against your friends.
This move gives it more of a competitive offering for Facebook and rival social services, without drowning users in the endless range of Facebook games (yet). Among the titles are Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Zynga Poker, Crime City, Edge World, City of Wonder and a few others.
Rather than just play in isolation, you can compare your scores against people you follow or play against them in Poker and some of the other games. Games did a massive amount to boost Facebook's profile and user minutes, and the same could happen, over time, for Google+.
Angry Birds, now with friends' scores
Facebook Strikes Back
Of course, Facebook isn't taking this threat to its marketing dominance lightly and has already tweaked its offering by allowing full-screen gaming so you can escape all those nagging Facebook alerts and other distractions as well as streamlining its notifications.
But this latest addition and the ensuing friend invites, and the boost in activity, should keep Google+'s numbers growing nicely, as well as proving to other developers that their games can get to play nicely within Google's system. Hopefully Google will push the system more to its mobile offering so games can be played on the go as well, something no social service seems to have really grasped yet.