Google Testing a Social iGoogle

    June 28, 2008

If you haven’t tried iGoogle, Google’s personalized homepage, you’re not alone. But Google’s looking to spiff up their customizable homepages and testing has already begun, as Google Operating System reports—and it looks like they’re trying to make our foretelling of iGoogle as social network come true.

The old iGoogle featured tabbed navigation across the top of the page; the new iGoogle moves it to a left-hand sidebar. The new iGoogle will also feature a feed of friends’ actions—reminiscent of Facebook’s Mini-Feed—including “stories shared by your contacts in Google Reader, recent photos uploaded to Picasa Web Albums, Google Talk status messages, shared iGoogle themes and gadgets.”

Sounding a little social-y? Oh yeah. It gets better, according to GOS:

Another change is that gadgets have an expanded interface, called canvas view. Gadgets authors will take advantage of this to display more information and make their gadgets more interactive, while your feeds can be read in a Google Reader-like interface. In the future, iGoogle will support OpenSocial applications [capability due "later this summer"] and the transformation to a social site will be complete.

Canvas view was announced earlier this week.

Apparently, Google didn’t get our letter six months ago. You know, the one that started, “ Dear Google, My friends are scary. Can I opt-out?” Last time I checked (and it’s been a while, since I stopped using GTalk for this reason), Google adds anyone that you email as a friend or contact, putting the onus on the user to manually delete someone that they’re not really “friends” with (every single time they email them?).

But I guess the easiest way to opt out here is just to do what everyone else does—not use iGoogle.