This morning, Marshall Kirkpatrick discusses a new feature just launched by Netvibes: corporate startpages. If anything was not revolutionary, this would be it. While the concept of widgitizing your homepage is a good one, none of these startpages (including iGoogle) have added social features. Honestly, I won’t use a startpage until the social features are integrated. Once I can see my social newsfeed, my google reader and a number of other sites that I frequent on a regular basis, I’m not using one.
Call me a cynic, but there is a reason that more people are logging into Facebook everyday rather than Netvibes or competing startpages. That reason is friends. I want to see what’s going on with my friends, what they are looking at and who they are hanging out with. This is why I spend so much time on Facebook. My guess is that Google is going to be one of the first to offer this type of service via iGoogle and integration with their social layer that they are supposedly announcing next month.
If the other startpage companies want to start driving more users to their site they better rapidly hop on the social train because it’s going to pass them by. The web is now social. If your service isn’t offering social features then you are going to be left in the dark. The same thing goes for Facebook applications but I would assume most developers would know this, this is why they build applications on the platform to begin with. Rather than repeating myself a million times, go check out my article about “Facebook’s Impact on the Widget Economy.” Do you use startpages? If so, do you think they should be more social?