There is a lot of hype in the Web 2.0 community revolving around setting up an ideal homepage. Within the last decade, a simple search engine was common to have as a browser starting point. But today’s web users want widgets quickly telling them what their stock values are, how much money they’re making on AdSense, who wrote on their Facebook walls, what their favorite blogs wrote about today, and how to dress to plan for today’s weather. We want all this information consolidated and fast because we’re all an executive in some way and don’t have time to look at each page individually.
Now developers can apply for sandbox, a plethora of OpenSocial APIs available for developing applications on iGoogle. OpenSocial is a Google initiative where many other social networks and mobile companies are coming together to create a united platform. Some see this initiative as a way to compete against Facebook Applications.
When a user updates information in their social network, it can be connected to an Updates widget within iGoogle. iGoogle is an RSS and widget consolidation web site to enable users to get personalized information faster.
Below is a sample of what the OpenSocial APIs can do from an Updates standpoint. It works very similarly to the Facebook profile Mini-Feed and homepage news feed.
Facebook’s response will be interesting. With OpenSocial emulating one of their ideas and all of the investment Facebook has received for building the company to a bigger level, I expect more interesting things to come out than just an IM platform.
 TechCrunch: Hints of iGoogle Turning Into Its Own Social Network by Erick Schonfeld