Google Rolls Out Social Gadgets Quickly

Last week we first wrote about social gadgets rolling out in Australia. Marissa Mayer, whom I spoke with at the time, said the timing of a broader rollout was uncertain. Well it’s here today:

Your friends are able to see what you share or do in your social gadgets either by having the same gadgets on their homepages, or through a new feed called Updates. Updates can include your recently shared photo albums, your favorite comics strips, your travel plans for the weekend and more. To help you manage who you are sharing with, we’ve created a Friends group. You can add and edit friends in this group at any time. If you already have a Friends group within your Google Contacts, you’ll be able to easily share with those friends on iGoogle as well.

There are 19 currently available:

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As I said previously, this effectively turns iGoogle into something of a social network (although that’s too strong a statement):

We don’t yet know how successful social gadgets will be. However, in a best-case scenario, it could potentially become the missing “social center” that has not taken root through other Google services including Orkut, Google’s actual social network.

In addition, if one steps back and imagines a rich ecosystem of gadget developers and engaged users, down the line, one can see iGoogle evolving into a Facebook-like experience featuring community, apps, status updates and so on.

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Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: iGoogle

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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