Personalized home page service Netvibes has quietly rolled out a new social feature called Buzz. The Buzz section tracks what links are getting starred the most throughout Netvibes network of home pages.
Netvibes users can star any of the links they like on their homepages, RSS readers, YouTube boxes, Digg widgets, and other widgets. And when items have been starred, they show up in users’ public activity streams, which can be displayed on home pages using an activity widget. With Buzz, these starrings are aggregated and displayed on a Digg-like front page where people can see what others are starring the most.
Buzz hasn’t been formally announced yet, but this is the first new feature we’ve seen since Tariq Krim announced he was stepping down from his CEO position.
While Netvibes lags behind giants iGoogle, My Yahoo! and MyAOL, it is the favorite among many early adopters for being fast and ad-free. With 2.4 million worldwide uniques in May, it makes sense to leverage its traffic for a link popularity tracker. There are already many social bookmarking sites, but adding a feature like this to an already-popular personalized home page service makes for easy adoption.
Buzz is currently on a separate page (and probably still in development), but we expect Netvibes to provide users with a widget that can be used to track popular items on their home pages. The name choice probably won’t go unnoticed by Yahoo either.