Netvibes launches "Ginger" social widgets platform

[UPDATE: Tariq got in touch to say that social features like flow (the Netvibes news feed which can be public or private) will run natively with Google’s OpenSocial and Facebook and be launched in private beta for developers in a couple weeks. You can view videos about Ginger here and here.]

So it looks like Netvibes is launching a social widgets platform they have dubbed “Ginger”. (Picture by Jeremy Keith, more here). Netvibes founder and CEO, Tariq Krim, announced the move at Web 2.0 Expo Berlin.

Netvibes has something it calls the Universal Widget API (UWA). It recently expanded support to Windows Vista, Windows Live and is planning to support Yahoo! widgets. The UWA syndicates widgets across all desktops, personalised pages and mobile platforms.

There’s been no official release on this, but in his speech (which I took live notes from, below) Krim outlined how it was time Netvibes tapped into the existing social networks, because it was too late to go creating one now. He characterised this as mashing-up Netvibe’s UWA with social APIs like Google’s recently announced Open Social or the Facebook application platform (although he didn’t name either of those specifically).


Tariq Krim, CEO of Netvibes

2 years of operation, 25m unique personalisation pages. 69 countries.

How do we accelerate the adoption of Widgets? We can make key services accessible in a useful form. And we are now enabling publishers to create and distribute widgets.

And enabling others to develop widgets.

Also announced mobile and iphone support.

Have also created Netvibes ecosystem of widgets and a universe of 800,000 developers.

Widget gallery is the ecosystem.

What’s next?

Netvibes has been a personal start page for a long time. A question we ask is we could try to be a social network. But we can’t do that, it’s too late. So what about tapping into an existing social network?

Netvibes + UWA + social APIs = Social Widgets everywhere

We decided to re-engineer Netvibes around social services

Next release is going to be called “Ginger” – more social widgets

Coming examples will be “My Friends’ Weather” as well as just your own weather widget

When you see something on Netvibes and like it you can share it with friends on your public Netvibes timeline