iGoogle Introduces Social Gadgets

    August 6, 2009

It looks like the term "iGoogle" is about to grow a little less apt.  Starting this week, social gadgets will debut for iGoogle, allowing and encouraging some users to connect and interact with each other.

Initially, people in Australia are the only ones who will gain access to the new gadgets.  There are twelve of them (more should come out later), and they provide gateways to things including News.com.au, YouTube, GoComics, and chess.

As for what the point is, a post on the Official Google Australia Blog explains, "[B]y adding and enabling social gadgets, you’ll be able to have an even deeper, interactive experience with your gadgets when you share them with friends."

The post then continues, "In fact, we’ve created a Friends group so that you can share things with the people you care about.  If you have a Friends group within your Google Contacts, you will be able to share with those friends on iGoogle without any extra work."

It looks like Google is borrowing a page or two from Facebook’s playbook, then.  It should be interesting to see if the experiment succeeds (and spreads beyond Australia).

In the meantime, Google’s at least promoting this move as a reason for gadget developers to get more involved with iGoogle.