Quick overview of some of the features announced today by Google concerning Google gadgets social aspects including a developer iGoogle sandbox and Open Social support for iGoogle gadgets.
One of the major reasons that Facebook applications spread like wildfire is because they are seen by friends on other friends profile pages, or are listed in updates, or news items.
iGoogle gadgets don’t have this capacity resulting in less viral spread of gadgets. Google gadgets are directory spread rather than virally spread. To become more social, iGoogle will add many things in the upcoming months. Todays announcement opened up some documentation that illuminates a few of the ways Google will compete socially against Facebook and others by providing Open Social functionality to thier own iGoogle container (limited to developers sandbox for now).
One example is the Updates gadget.
This gadget seen above provides essentially a news feed capability to iGoogle and within the documentation is explained as…
Using the OpenSocial APIs, you can post updates to the updates gadget. Users will be able to see updates generated from their friends’ gadgets, encouraging content sharing.
* A gadget will be able to read updates that it posted from friends’ iGoogle pages.
* Gadgets have a maximum number of updates it can post each day per user.
* See the FAQ for more details.
Notice the “encourage sharing” point. Sharing is what iGoogle has lacked, and have only recently started adding more functionality to their sharing ability. This update module will likely be a default gadget for new iGoogle users. Expect iGoogle to have a new look with many similarities to a Facebook profile soon…
The other major change will be the canvas page within iGoogle. iGoogle without a canvas page ability meant that iGoogle did not have the ability to support their own Open Social. Here is what the canvas page will now look like…
Note for Google:
The link that states “add developers tools” on the getting starting page is linked incorrectly
Some useful links to Google documentation for this announcement:
To hear more about the iGoogle sandbox…