Google’s first entry into social gaming wasn’t spectacular. By allowing a handful of partners to develop, they were only able to yield 16 games total for their social network, Google+. Compare that to bigger sites like Facebook with thousands of games and even smaller sites like Tagged.com who have hundreds of games, Google+ has been a minor blip in the growing social gaming industry.
All of that should be changing soon as Google+ announced that they were launching their initial API release. It is much more limited than other platforms, allowing only public data to be used, but it’s a start.
They also stuck to the basics in protocols and standards, using RESTful HTTP requests which return JSON response, payload formats that use standard syntax, and OAuth 2 for authentication.
“For all of you developers who have been asking for a Google+ API, this is the start,” Google said in a blog post. “Experiment with it. Build apps on it. Give us your feedback and ideas. This is just the beginning; the Google+ platform will grow and we value your input as we move Google+ forward.”
It’s no surprise to anyone who has been keeping track of Google’s latest attempt to go social. They have, to date, done little more than innovate and build on what others have already attempted. With an interface that is quite Facebook-esque, it makes sense for them to appeal to one of the things that launched Facebook ahead of MySpace a couple of years ago. Gaming and apps are the key to their future. Once it opens up, there is a good chance that we’ll be seeing a slew of Google+ apps hitting the market.
Be ready. The G+ Mafia Wars invites are around the corner.