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Google Plus Games and Facebook Privacy Comparison

Lisa Braziel.
By: Lisa Braziel  |   August 11, 2011  |   View Comments

For those of us eagerly waiting brand pages, Google Plus has recently thrown us a bone in our wait by adding a new "Games" offering to its social network. These games are reminiscent of the current games that are available on Facebook, however they provide a user another area to engage on Google Plus and could encourage higher frequency of usage. Below is my quick review of the Games offering, and an initial comparison of the current privacy settings.


Google Plus Games Overview

If a user is part of the Games Beta, when they log into Google Plus they will have the option to go to a new "Games" section of the network.  Within this section, users will be greeted with a selection of games they can play from popular game developers like Zynga, PopCap, and Rovio.  At first blush, the selection of games to start with is pretty impressive and for the most part familiar.  At this point the familiarity of these game providers will entice users of similar games on Facebook, and also build a higher level of trust as users allow these companies to have permission to specific data.

Once a user has activated a game and accepted permissions, the user will have the opportunity to play the game.  After playing the first game of Angry Birds, I was greeted with a pop-up that would allow me to post my new high score in Angry Birds.  There I could choose to post it to everyone, or select specific circles to share this activity with.  All of this activity aggregates under a separate "Games Stream" that is separate from my profile.  This actually encourages relevant game sharing, while preventing game spam.


Google Plus Developers are Requesting More

It's interesting to see how Developers are approaching the number of requests on Google Plus versus Facebook.  In the screenshots below, you can see developers like PopCap and Zynga are only requesting basic information on Facebook to run their games,  while for the same game on Google Plus they are asking for more detailed information of users such as their email address or Circle information.


Google Plus Game Permissions


Facebook Game Permissions


Google Plus Games Privacy

Google is obviously still tweaking Google Games, and privacy changes are inevitable.  Instead of following in the footsteps of Facebook, the service is feeling out the borders themselves.  Currently, after playing a game on Google, I couldn't find an easy location to control the information the game provider could access.  At this point in time, this type of control is not only expected but will be demanded from current users of the service.  Until then, initial game developers may have a field day.


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Comments

18 thoughts on “Google Plus Games and Facebook Privacy Comparison

  1. CallKathy

    Can you add a larger image of the icon for the games stream? Would like to know what to watch for, as I don't have it yet.

    Other than that, great piece. I liked seeing it actually in use. Too many of the tech geeks are putting it down for even existing. They don't seem to realize how many users play games.

  2. CallKathy

    Can you add a larger image of the icon for the games stream? Would like to know what to watch for, as I don't have it yet.

    Other than that, great piece. I liked seeing it actually in use. Too many of the tech geeks are putting it down for even existing. They don't seem to realize how many users play games.

  3. Madeline

    One of the main draws for Facebook membership has always been the games, so I'm glad to see Google Plus rolling out games on the network.

  4. Quentin Smith

    You can control access by the game after you've played at https://www.google.com/accounts/b/0/IssuedAuthSubTokens which is the same page you can use for any other app that has access to your Google account.

    (You can get to that page from Account Settings -> Authorizing applications & sites)

    --Quentin

  5. Quentin Smith

    You can control access by the game after you've played at https://www.google.com/accounts/b/0/IssuedAuthSubTokens which is the same page you can use for any other app that has access to your Google account.

    (You can get to that page from Account Settings -> Authorizing applications & sites)

    --Quentin

  6. Erica May

    Developers get a lot less control of what data they can see & have to depend more on a lot more on GA at many points in the experience, including getting any data they may have been able to get at in a different way on Facebook.    

  7. Erica May

    Developers get a lot less control of what data they can see & have to depend more on a lot more on GA at many points in the experience, including getting any data they may have been able to get at in a different way on Facebook.    

  8. Wesley Wise

    I think google plus made a facebook account then focused on their downside for them to make their application better! LOL! and if they did, well i guess they get a two-thumbs up from me! :)

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