A few articles have been published recently about how widgets are changing the Internet and how we use it. The most prominent was Wired’s article, “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet”.
Desktop and mobile widgets (also called mobile apps) are taking over our desktops and mobile devices in a big way. This is mainly because they’re small, and easy to install and use – and they deliver!
We don’t need websites, we need content
The Internet is overloaded with websites and information. To get the piece of information we need, we usually conduct a search for it, wading through dozens of websites to get to the nugget we want – and many times, it’s not very easy to find. The fact is, websites are overloaded. You can see this by taking a look at any big website or portal. Everything is on homepage, but the problem is that we don’t need everything; we need just the piece of content or service we are looking for.
Here come widgets to the rescue. With a widget, you get only the piece of information you need. If you need weather – you get just weather, if you need news or video – you get just news or just video.
We want easy interface
Websites vary greatly and use so many different interfaces that sometimes it’s difficult to find your required content block. However, widgets use a simple and familiar desktop interface. Widgets are more unified so we can use them intuitively.
There’s no doubt that a desktop interface is more handy than a web interface. 75% of all Twitter traffic comes from third-party applications such as TweetDeck , Tweetie, Twitterrific, and more.
We’re moving from “searching” to “getting”
With the introduction of widgets on the scene, we’re changing the way we access information. We’re using Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Google widgets and apps instead of browsers. “Search for information” behavior is rapidly changing to “get widget and get content” – and this is much more direct.
Statistics show that more and more people prefer to find an appropriate widget and get content from it rather than search the web for the content they need. There are now:
· 17 million widget installations from Live Gallery per month
· 150 million widget installations from Google Apps Marketplace per month
· 3 billion widget installations from Apple App Store per month
…and these numbers are increasing every month.
Are you on the widget train or will you be left behind at the station?