What a cowinkydink! Just as Google announced that it will now offer social games through Google+, Facebook announced a number of new changes to games on its platform. Announced in a blog post last night (much like Google+ Games was), the most notable of the changes is the new game ticker feature. This provides players with a smaller News Feed off to the right side of their games that will automatically update with game-related updates as they play.
What's important about this change is that players can see what their friends are up to in other games without having to leave the game they're currently playing. (We should mention that these changes, like all changes to almost everything on the Internet, are rolling out to users slowly.) For instance, if a friend smacks you with a triple-word score in Words with Friends while you're busy playing GnomeTown, you will see that almost immediately and be able to jump into that game straight from GnomeTown.
Facebook has also given gamers more control over who sees their game-related News Feed posts down to each individual app. This is now done in the Privacy Settings under Account Settings on the home page--just like how you remove apps or alter permissions. Finally, with what might come across sounding like the Ode to Joy for Facebook gamers with 13-inch screens (like myself), Facebook is working with developers to increase the screen size of games to make more use of your screens' width.
While I've yet to have these changes make it to my own Facebook, they already sound impressive. However, we can't help but see some glaring similarities between these changes and Google+ Games. Namely, the (100 percent) separate News Feed for games from your standard News Feed sounds quite a lot like how Google is handling how game news is fed to players. However, we'll reserve any more comparisons until we see both Google+ Games and these Facebook changes in the digital, um, flesh. With two major competitors in the social games space now, there can only be one winner: the players.
[Image Credits: Facebook, Scitechie.com]
Are you excited by these new games features headed to Facebook? Do you think this will be enough to compete with Google+ Games, or is there even a competition to be had? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.