Facebook applications are getting acquired, everyone seems to be launching a widget, and Google has decided to join in on the widget economy. Yesterday, Marisa Mayer of Google announced Google Gadget Ventures. According to the site, “Google Gadget Ventures is a new Google pilot program dedicated to helping developers create richer, more useful Google Gadgets.” According to Read/Write/Web, the purpose of Google Gadget Ventures is to bootstrap “an economic ecosystem around gadgets.” For those developers that have already developed successful Google Gadgets (those that generate at least 250,000 weekly page views), there are seed investment grants of $100,000 available. Google knows that they need to become part of the widget economy, and this is their signal that they are taking it seriously. Also, given that most third party developers are currently working on Facebook applications, Google is trying to give an incentive to third party developers to build applications for their iGoogle product. In order to be successful in the current landscape, developers will have to release their applications across multiple platforms. Companies such as Clearspring & Widgetbox will surely thrive. If you are a third party developer, now is the time to burn the midnight oil and crank out widgets. It is an exciting time for the World Wide Widgets!
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