Google just rolled out 19 social gadgets for its iGoogle start page. These social gadgets turn iGoogle into a far more interactive and social experience, as users can now play casual games with other iGoogle users and share videos and to-do lists right from the iGoogle homepage.
That’s hell lot of super-cool features, isn’t it? All these interactive social experience are known to be the USP of Facebook. So it obviously looks like Google is trying to take a dig at Facebook with these latest set of iGoogle social gadgets.
All these while Google was releasing the gadgets slowly but never did they release so many at a chunk. With this announcement, though, it looks like iGoogle could become the central hub for social activities on Google’s ecosystem. iGoogle currently offers two interesting ways to keep up with your friends’ activity: a timeline and an ‘updates’ feed. The timeline even allows users to post Facebook-like status updates. The good thing about the update stream is that users can see their friends’ activity on iGoogle, even if they don’t have a specific gadget installed themselves.
iGoogle already has 60,000 gadgets, but only the 19 gadgets announced today are social. If iGoogle is taken seriously as a social network, you could imagine an iPhone app-like explosion of social gadgets. But, Twitter integration is still missing. If that can happen, it would drive all those active Twitter users to iGoogle, and add Twitter’s real-time chat and search functionality to iGoogle. It would give people a reason to have iGoogle open all day.
Update: Google has now shut down iGoogle. Shocking news for many.