Google seems determined to compete with the popular social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. The search giant is now encouraging its users to utilise features added to iGoogle widgets via OpenSocial and share content from iGoogle with their contacts and friends.
iGoogle allows users to personalize their Google Search homepage through the addition of RSS feeds, widgets and then organise them in tabs and themes. New apps have been created within iGoogle to allow greater social interaction.
An example of this new facility, as reported on TechCrunch, can be seen in the My Google Book Search Library widget. As the name implies, users can search for various books they are interested in and create their own digital library. Now, whenever a user with an open social profile accesses this gadget, they come across an option asking them if they want the gadget to “know who I am and access my profile”. They also have the option to “Post updates to my friends group”.
It is likely that this facility has been added in conjunction with Google Friend Connect, which Google has been trying to popularise recently, in order to access the user’s profile data.
Application developers working for Google have been working on new apps and social features for various iGoogle gadgets since April last year, which indicates that Google is serious about making iGoogle a social platform.