When I think of Widgets, my first thoughts are of small downloadable applications that reside on your desktop (typically called Desktop Widgets). Turns out that ComScore is now tracking the use of Widgets online, but describes them as, "little boxes that can deliver contextually aware content, connect users and offer transactional capabilities. Under the ComScore definition, desktop widgets and YouTube files are not considered web-based widgets," said the Advertising Age article, Widgets Reach Wide Swath Of Web Users, which was published on June 13th, 2007.
Here's what really piqued my interest from this article:
"Widgets reached about 21% of the worldwide internet audience in April, ComScore found. About 40% of widget use, or 81 million of those people, came from North America. Slide had the largest reach, followed by RockYou, Picturetrail and Photobucket."
I guess you can see a piece of technology for so long one way that when it's introduced in another fashion it just blindsides you. That's what happened with Widgets and me. I guess I was always looking at how a company like CNN could create a downloadable Widget that could reside on your desktop and stream hyper-local content along with RSS-enabled news right to an individual's desktop as the big win. I also saw that Staples allows you to download their "Simple" button which can initiate an online purchase, but embedded Widgets on websites always snuck beneath my radar until this article.
Once again, big implications and we're still at a very nascent phase. The biggest users of Widgets are the male eighteen to twenty-four segment, which should also set-off your marketing alarms. Typically, this is your Early Adopter segment, so understanding Widgets (both Desktop and embedded) at this point won't leave you behind the eight ball.
Max Levchin - Founder and CEO of Slide finished up the article with an interesting quote:
"The reach that widgets have is gong to surprise a lot of people. What advertisers are ultimately interested in is what are people looking at, not what page ... and our index showed we have 60% more 18- to 24-year-olds than average internet property."
Read more about Widgets and their Marketing rise over here: Advertising Age - Widgets Reach Wide Swath of Web Users.