Anyone who has ever played Farmville (or has been asked by a friend to harvest her crops while she is at work) knows how incredibly addicting that game can be. I myself have been addicted at one point or another to “CSI: Crime City,” I ended up playing the game for hours and made it a priority more important than basically everything. Until I got bored, and now I stay on Facebook for a maximum of five minutes.
That type of mentality scares giants like Facebook and Google. The longer a user stays on a site the more advertisers want to place their ads, because there are more and longer viewers. Google has recently been dealing with this problem as searchers tend to only stay on their site for a few seconds while rivals like Facebook have users trolling for hours.
Not anymore. Now that Google + has adapted Facebook’s gaming strategy, users should be coming in and staying on in flocks. The games played directly on the site have been immensely popular already, and Google + has grabbed the hottest games around right now. Angry Birds and Bejeweled Blitz are coming to Google + with an established fan base.
Zynga poker, already very big on Facebook, is also joining Google +. Zynga does most of its business on Facebook but as they have just filed to go public Google has been investing and the two companies are now partners. Although Zynga’s most popular Farmville and Mafia Wars will not be making the transition, more are sure to come.
The best part for non-gamers about this transition is Google’s non-invasive strategy. To access the games one must only find the top of the news feed and you can see who is playing and what games are available. Thankfully, updates are only shared with a certain group of friends, meaning you will not be flooded with notifications about games you could care less about.
Google is holding events for gaming developers and application developers soon, it announced on Thursday. For now the invites to developers will go slowly, however, to emphasize quality over quantity.