Thursday, December 04, 2008

Social Networks: Go Native or Go Nowhere

There has been a lot of noise in the marketplace about widgets on social networks. But the truth is that the majority of these widgets are simple Flash or content widgets that aren't capable of taking advantage of the true viral power of social networks.

We just launched a new version of iWidgets that allows content owners to syndicate their content into social networks like Facebook with multiple views as well as action-based newsfeed updates. These are critical features for developing a viral application. As great as technologies like Flash are for multimedia development, they fall far short on social networks.

Below are screenshots of a widget showcasing content from the E! television show Girls Next Door, which, I should add, although it seems misogynistic, apparently its primary demographic is women age 20-35.

The widget lets a fan show off who their favorite Girl Next Door is, and brings in the latest video clips about that girl. When the fan makes her selection, a post is made to their newsfeed which tells all her friends about her favorite girl next door. Facebook will soon allow additional impressions of such newsfeeds to be purchased on friends' homepages to accelerate virality. iWidgets makes action-based newsfeed postings like this a drag-and-drop snap.



In addition, the widget has multiple views, one for the popular Facebook Wall tab, which is absolutely necessary for Facebook placement today:


As well as a view for a Fan Page or a Profile's Boxes tab:


There is also a view for installing the app as its own tab on a profile or a canvas that is clickthrough to from the other views:


With the new views feature, iWidgets widgets can be placed in prominent locations like Facebook's Wall tab. In addition, we're delivering to publishers the ability to create action-based widgets where people can tell their friends what they are doing with the widget via newsfeeds, so the content can spread through the social graph. These are unique, viral features that no other widget platform provides!

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