12 Aug 2011
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Facebook and Google upping their game

Gaming looks to be the latest battleground in the social network showdown, with Google+ launching its gaming section and Facebook striking straight back with an update of its own.

With post-launch interest in Google+ waning, Google yesterday launched the first games on its social networking effort, counting on popular titles like Angry Birds to drive further uptake.

In a move that was sure to meet with approval from many a frustrated Facebook user, Google announced that games in Google+ would be hosted entirely on a separate page in the user’s account, making it easy for non-gamers to keep their page free of irritating notifications. 

According to a post on the Google blog, "We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life.

"That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.”

However, not long after Google posted the blog Facebook struck back, with an announcement on its own blog that its gaming area was being revamped.

As well as offering a larger screen area, Facebook has added a separate ticker stream for gamers to keep track of their friends' gaming activity.

"Whether you like sports games, word games strategy or classic games, they are all better when played with your friends," the blog reads.

According to reports, Google is also undercutting Facebook with regard to developers, taking just 5% of revenue from in-game transactions compared to the 30% taken by Facebook. The cheap rate may not last long, but is sure to garner plenty of attention.

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