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"We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests," senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra said in a blog post announcing Google+. Recent reports say that part of this new Google will include a games platform. Over the past few months, Google launched other you-focused products like Google Music, Google Wallet and Google Offers. You are very important to these services, because unlike Gmail, Google News, Google Docs and other wonderful and wonderfully free services, you, in one way or another, will need to pay for them.
Google Games will probably look a lot like Facebook games. Just as Zynga is built into Facebook, All Things D's Tricia Duryee says the service will be built into Google+ and depend on Google In-App Payments, a new product launched on Tuesday that lets you make purchases in apps like, say, FarmVille. Google will pocket about 30 percent of each purchase and give the rest to developers.
Google Music In-App Payments could presumably power Google's cloud music service, as well. The company has not yet announced all of the features of Google Music--nor has it confirmed Google Games--but the company's April purchase of PushLife, an iTunes alternative, shows some intention to sell music in the app. With competitors like Spotify and Amazon also offering subscription services, it's possible that Google will charge for extra storage.
Google Wallet, not surprisingly, also wants your money. The full-fledged payment service will make some money from merchants by taking a percentage of purchases. a convenience that businesses could ask customers to pay for. But their big bet for consumer dollar is Google Offers, a Groupon competitor. Offers will sell deals directly to Google users and apparently work in a host of Google's other products. So presumably, you could set up a credit card on Google Wallet, buy new shoes via Google Shopper and buy songs via Google Music, giving the internet giant more cash each time you hit "Purchase."
It's worth remembering that a host of Google's regular services are free and will continue to be free for the forseeable future. A recent bungle over Google deleting business pages on Google+ shows that the company is more interested in making its social products work for users than business in the short term. After all, Google has admittedly screwed this up many times in the past, and there's a lot of bread to be won, if it gets it right this time.
It's like Gundotra said in announcing Google+, "You and over a billion others trust Google, and we don’t take this lightly. In fact we’ve focused on the user for over a decade: liberating data, working for an open Internet, and respecting people’s freedom to be who they want to be. We realize, however, that Google+ is a different kind of project, requiring a different kind of focus--on you."
You and your money. Because look at all they've done for you!
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