Widgetbox Rolls Out Facebook Connect To Let Users Share Widgets In the Stream

Although Facebook is publishing some of its own Facebook Connect widgets like the Live Stream widget and the Comments Box widget to help websites be more social, major widget platforms themselves are starting to integrate Facebook Connect in their own more specialized products.

Just a few days ago, widget platform Widgetbox soft launched Facebook Connect in a compelling integration that allows users to publish widgets to the News Feed. Widgetbox’s VP Marketing & Business Development Ryan Spoon says the company’s widgets reach 100 million uniques every month, but only 1% of those come through Facebook. With the recent release of Connect, the company is making efforts to change that.

Here’s an example of what the integration looks like:

1. You can sign in to Widgetbox.com using your Facebook account.

widgetbox_sign-in

2. When you add a widget or rate and comment on a widget, you can publish these stories to your Wall and the News Feed.

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3. If the widget you share is Flash-based, it should be functional within the Facebook News Feed. Most widgets come with a play button expands and plays the widget in-line in the stream. If the widget is written in Javascript, it appears in the Feed as a regular story. Widgetbox is trying to consolidate these types of stories – a challenge with the evolving Connect API’s.

facebook-connect-widget-in-the-feed

The next step for Widgetbox is to enhance its Connect integration by bringing Facebook’s social graph to the site and make widget recommendations to its users based on what their friends have added. While the company is focusing its Connect efforts on the News Feed, the technology is also there to add Widgetbox widgets inside applications, especially in the context of games, Spoon explained.

Conclusion

Typically, widgets are added to sites like blogs that are more static, and so users can count on the widget being there the next time they need it. With Widgetbox’s Facebook integration, there seems to be a higher risk of users publishing content that flows off the first page of the stream in a matter of hours.

Nevertheless, widget makers are still trying to get distribution wherever they can inside Facebook since Facebook more or less booted widget-like profile boxes off user profile pages with the redesign last year (however, users can still add small application boxes and tabs to their profile). We’re looking forward to watching Widgetbox iterate on its Facebook Connect integration in the months ahead.

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