Google Rolls Out Digg Reminiscent iGoogle Gadget: What's Popular
Article by George Norman
On 27 Apr 2009
Google has rolled out a new gadget entitled “What’s Popular” which has been designed with the goal of helping you discover “interesting items from all over the internet” by using “algorithms to find interesting content from a combination of your submissions and trends in aggregated user activity across a variety of Google services”. Popular content from the web is highlighted and presented to you, so that you can vote on the news bits and sites you find interesting (which is reminiscent of Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Yahoo! Buzz).

Senior VP of Edelman Digital, Steve Rubel comments: “Google's personalized home page, iGoogle, added a new feature that basically clones the core features of Digg and StumbleUpon by embedding them into a gadget that is easily accessible from right within the web desktop. The feature, which Google started highlighting in its directory this week, is called "What's Popular." Using the widget consumers can submit links either anonymously or publicly and rate whether they like or dislike other submissions.”


It is more than obvious that Google, with the “What’s Popular” gadget drew their inspiration from social media discovery websites like Digg and StumbleUpon. The downside is that by being a gadget and not a full-blown service, it will not drive traffic to a particular site in the same manner that Digg does, for example. But you can expect this to change if Google decides to expand the “What’s Popular” gadget to an online service – keep in mind that Google already has a huge user base that can be pointed in the direction of web pages they might enjoy.

There is one other thing to keep in mind: Google has tried to purchase Digg in the past. This is an indication that the Mountain View search engine giant might be tempted in entering social media discovery websites territory – and the simple way to do so is by putting out a gadget and seeing how that works.

If you are an iGoogle user, you can get the “What’s Popular” gadget here.
If you are not an iGoogle user, a stand-alone URL is available here and a mini gadget URL is available here.

Tags: Google, iGoogle, What’s Popular
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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