Starting this week, we’re beginning to roll out new gadgets leveraging Opensocial to all iGoogle users in the U.S. With the new social gadgets, users will be able to share content, play games and collaborate with friends right on their iGoogle page. A few examples of the new social gadgets include:
- Content Sharing – NPR enables users to browse through latest headlines across a variety of categories and share the stories that interest them with friends. With the Flixster gadget, users can rate and review movies or browse what films their friends have reviewed or found interesting. Users can now also view their friend’s favorites comics stories or post comments with the GoComics gadget.
- Games & Fun – The Scrabble and Chess gadgets enable users to play two of their favorite games with their friends or the public at large. Users can also see which of their friends has the biggest brain or immerse themselves in a New York Times Crossword where they can complete a given week’s puzzle with the help of their friends.
- Communication/tools – Users can share multiple lists with friends with the social To-do gadget. It’s easy to add and remove items, mark items done, change priorities and edit item descriptions with friends or family. The Social Photos gadget enables users to upload and share their albums from Flickr and Picasa, as well as browse their friend’s albums or top Photos.
For a full list of highlighted social gadgets, see www.google.com/igsocial
As part of the launch, we are also introducing two new features on iGoogle called a “Friends group” and “Updates.” A “Friends group” is a list of friends users can create based on a subset of users’ Google Contacts to be able to interact and share social gadgets with. “Updates” allows users to see what their friends are up to by sharing gadgets, photos, ratings and more from the social gadgets on their iGoogle page. The new social features are completely optional and can be disabled on any social gadget if users do not want to take advantage of the new features. In addition, not all gadgets on iGoogle are social-enabled and those which are will be marked with a special icon.
iGoogle’s mission is to quickly connect users to the information that is most useful and important to them in an easy-to-use and customizable format. This is just the beginning and we will continue to offer our users more choices that enable them to create a powerful and personalized homepage. For developers and content owners, social gadgets allow more possibilities for building rich and compelling gadgets. In addition, not only can developers take advantage of iGoogle’s growing audience of users to promote their gadgets and drive additional awareness and traffic back to their websites, but they can also earn revenue from their gadgets on iGoogle by placing ads in the canvas view mode of their gadgets.
For more information, please read our blog post on the announcement: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/i-scream-you-scream-we-all-scream-for.html. You can also find out how the new features work by watching this video available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4AXFZWZ6nI
iGoogle, Google‘s personalized homepage, lets users customize their internet experience, choosing the content they’re interested in seeing. Users can access weather forecasts, movie times, play games, or read the latest news, all directly from their homepage. For more, please visit: www.google.com/ig
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