Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Widgets Already Ready for Prime Time

Widgets Already Ready for Prime Time


The Wall Street Journal
So-called "widgets" (no, not the economics term for "product") could become major drivers of advertising on social media sites, says The Wall Street Journal. In the Web 2.0 world, "widgets" refer to interactive photo, video and music tools that allow everyday users to post content--movie trailers, photo slide shows, music playlists--to their site or social networking profile. New research from comScore shows that consumers are increasingly interacting with this type of broadband content: in April, nearly 178 million people Web-wide viewed content made with these so-called widgets. The comScore report is one of the first to measure the reach of widget-producers like Slide, Inc. RockYou Inc., and PictureTrail, Inc.
Advertisers, no doubt, must now sit up and take notice. Those are some big numbers from a relatively new phenomenon, and the sky's the limit: a widget could also be anything from an interactive video ad to a branded advergame. For a video provider like YouTube, a "widget" is another piece of content to sell advertising against.

Part of the reason that widgets have caught fire is their ease of use. Slide, the category's top provider with 117.1 million users in April, makes producing a video slide show on your MySpace page as easy as clicking a few buttons or copying and pasting a piece of code. As the Journal report says, widgets are rapidly becoming the de facto form of self-expression through broadband content. However, the problem for widget makers is that they largely depend on MySpace and Facebook, which have a history of blocking third-party content makers, for distribution.

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