The rage today in social networking and social computing (my company, Zude, is in the latter business) is opening up APIs to developers with the hope of generating the next killer widget that sends user numbers into the stratosphere.
Meebo announced this capability yesterday.
Facebook broke the trend earlier in the year and it created a great amount of traction and copy-cat behavior. But, interestingly, we are beginning to feel a hint of fallout from users. Too many widgets! (Check out the Bush Tetras song called “Too many freaks,” when you have some time.) My Facebook site has recently been hit by “tossed cows” and other funky “pokes” which are adding lots of cheese to my page. And I don’t even use Facebook very much. Can you imagine what active users sites must look like?
Facebook knows this to be a problem and has put up deletes, blocks and opt-ins everywhere for this stuff. I love widgets, don’t get me wrong. Like good blogs, they are very valuable — but on my terms.
Here’s a user comment about Facebook from Hey Nielsen? “It was such a great alternative because it was clean, fast, simple and streamlined. Now I have to deal with the same spam and new annoyances in the form of applications (I don’t want to be a zombie or vampire).”
Too many widgets!