Thursday, June 28, 2007

Facebook Widget Acquisitions; Google Funding Widgets Through Venture Program

Couple of interesting macro developments in the micro-industry: A
few Facebook-resident widgets (or gadgets, if you so insist) have been
bought out by relatively bigger companies. For instance: a
Facebook-only application Favorite Peeps was acquired by slideshow
creator Slide; and Extended Info app was acquired by travel startup
SideStep. So in essence, a small Facebook economy is emerging, a bit
like the big MySpace economy (which resulted in one, Photobucket, being
bought for $300 million by MySpace). This post on RWW looks
at whether this Facebook economy is sustainable: “With more than 38,000
developers already using the Facebook Developer app...buying popular
apps is a good way for companies looking to get into the Facebook
ecosystem to screen developers.

Then, in a similar vein, though Google-style, Google has started a ”Google Gadget Ventures
program, where it will fund third-party widget/gadget developers who
develop apps for its iGoogle personalized homepage service. “$5,000
grants for gadget developers who want to invest time making their
already successful gadget even better, and $100,000 seed investments for new gadget-related businesses.” More details in the Google blog post here, and funding FAQs are here.

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