Google turned up the heat on other social networking sites yesterday with the addition of new social features to...
iGoogle, its personalisable web service.
These include a new Friends group that allows users to manage who they share social items with. Google says users can add and edit friends in this group at any time. If you already have a Friends group in Google Contacts, you will also be able to share with those friends on iGoogle.
Google added 19 social gadgets to the site. These include chess and Scrabble games, the ability to pick up news from a variety of sources, including YouTube, and a to-do list.
Friends can see what users share or do in their social gadgets either by having the same gadgets on their own homepage or through the new Updates feed. Updates can include users' recently shared photos, favourite comic strips, travel plans and more.
Users can also switch off individual iGoogle social features with a few clicks.
According to Google, developers have created more than 60,000 gadgets so far. It expects this to grow sharply as more write gadgets for social purposes. For tips on how to do it, go to the iGoogle Developer page.