Google Gadgets vs. Facebook Apps (Updated w/ images)

LinkedIn won one of five search awards at the Searchnomics conference earlier today where I went to accept it on behalf of our product/engineering and development teams, who make the social search magic work for over 11 million LinkedIn users (I work as Community Evangelist at LinkedIn).

Todd Watson (IBM) and Jeremiah Owyang (Podtech)

I was present at Marissa Mayer’s keynote where she announced the Google Gadgets Venture (Jeremiah’s got some incredibly prolific/timely blog coverage here). I thought it was serendipitous that Google announced this on a day when two other blogs were debating the business feasibility of facebook apps, since just recently two apps were purchased.

1. Google Gadgets (worth $100K?)

Google was probably one of the early companies to dabble in APIs and currently have built out a slew of tools to enable developers to create Google Gadgets. Here’s a summary (via Google Developer blog):

The Google Mashup Editor has an option for instantly deploying your web app as a gadget. For Java programmers, Google Web Toolkit provides another good way to write a gadget or a full-featured AJAX app with a gadget component. The Google Data APIs and AJAX Feed API can help power your gadget with rich data sources. You can even add offline functionality using Google Gears.

So, yesterday, Marissa announced Google Gadget Ventures at the Searchnomics conference…well, here’s the official blog release:

We’ve been hearing from a lot of gadget developers that they’d like to spend more time developing if they could, and we’ve been thinking about ways to help them do that. To that end, we’re happy to announce Google Gadget Ventures, a new pilot program that will help fund third-party gadget development and gadget-related businesses. We plan to offer two types of funding: $5,000 grants for gadget developers who want to invest time making their already successful gadget even better, and $100,000 seed investments for new gadget-related businesses. For now, applications are restricted to gadget developers who have more than 250,000 page views per week on their gadget. (Source: Official Google Blog)

Other than Jeremiah’s post if you could only read one more post on Marissa Mayer’s keynote, then check out a post by Nitin Karandikar, guest author at Read/Write Web.

2. Facebook Apps (worth $60K?)

Earlier in the day, yesterday, TechMeme had an interesting discussion (via Read/Write Web again) on the business viability of the Facebook apps that are being created.

On Monday the blog Inside Facebook broke the story that the Facebook-only application Favorite Peeps had been acquired by slideshow creator Slide (and Slide confirmed to me yesterday that they had reached an agreement with the creator of Favorite Peeps). The rumored acquisition price was $60,000. This is the second Facebook app buy-out reported by Inside Facebook in the past week. Last Friday, they reported that the Extended Info application had been acquired by travel startup SideStep, who make a top 50 Facebook app called “Trips.”

So, it looks like Google believes that certain gadget related businesses (upward of 250,000 page views/week) could be worth investing up to a $100K and Facebook apps that are deemed business worthy have already been acquired for roughly $60K. As Josh Catone asks, is it a fad?

With these developments, what do YOU think?

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  1. tv bracket

    Cool topic, mario! Never thought of this comparison before.

  2. Jeremiah Owyang

    Congrats on this award Mario!

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