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Facebook unveils revamp to games platform

Social network announces changes to its gaming system it says will make games easier to find and play.

Facebook's revamped game view. Facebook

Hot on the heels of Google's launch of social gaming on its nascent Google+ project, Facebook's announced changes tonight to its gaming system that it says will make games easier to find and play.

Those who play games on the social network will now have a separate stream that displays their friends' game activity, as well as their scores and achievements in a ticker, Jared Morgenstern, Facebook's product manager for games and credits, said in a Facebook blog post.

"The best way to find new games is through friends, and now you'll have more opportunities to see what they're playing," he said. Friends will be able to start playing games immediately by clicking on the name of the game.

Game players will also be able to control who sees the games they are playing, as well which games are visible to those friends, he said. Players will also be able to add frequently games to their homepage bookmarks section.

The social-networking giant is also introducing a bigger game screen for "a more immersive experience," Morgenstern said. Games such as CityVille, Zoo World, Monster World, and Mystery Manor will get full-screen expandability in the next few days.

The changes come as Google took the wraps off a gaming element for Google+, the social network the company launched at the end of June. The new offering lets Google+ users play games from within the social network, including some that can be played with other Google+ users.

Some of the launch games include Rovio's Angry Birds, PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz, and Zynga's Poker. It's a tiny collection compared with what's offered on Facebook, which has made a booming business by offering social games that players can click away at while remaining within the social network's walls.

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