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iGoogle baptised in Web 2.0 finger bowl

Mountain View gets in your Facebook

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Google has added "social gadgets" to its customisable user homepage.

The company slotted Web 2.0 features into iGoogle, which first launched in 2005, yesterday.

Mountain View search veep Marissa Mayer and iGoogle product manager Rose Yao said in a joint blog post that the search giant had added 19 social gadgets to the personalised homepage.

"Social gadgets let you share, collaborate and play games with your friends on top of all the things you can already do on your homepage," said Mayer and Yao.

Essentially, the gadgets now available tap into the Open Social API, which was sandboxed for Mountain View developers in 2008, allowing social networking features to permeate into iGoogle's homepage that users can then personalise.

Flickr, Scrabble and YouTube are among the slew of Web 2.0 services that can now be incorporated into iGoogle.

Google will be hoping that users will enjoy gathering all their social elements in once place.

"Your friends are able to see what you share or do in your social gadgets either by having the same gadgets on their homepages, or through a new feed called Updates," explained Mayer and Yao, without making any direct comparisons with Facebook or Twitter.

Oz users of iGoogle were the first to get their hands on the new social gadgets last week. Google said the service will be rolled out to the US and the rest of the world soon. ®

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