I think all of us knew that Flash widgets were popular but Richard’s post of Read/WriteWeb blew me away. He’s reporting that Slide, a media widget company, announced that they are distributing more than a million new flash widgets every day. I’m a big fan of widgets done in Flash and I think the explosion of popularity shows that there’s a real marketplace here.
I think this is also a glimpse of what’s to come. People love being expressive and they love taking their own content and building rich, interactive experiences around it. Companies like Slide have made a business out of that. They do things like let people create animated slideshows, guestbooks which support video, and photo albums that you can add flare to. None of this is possible without Flash and people obviously love adding those mini-rich-experiences to their blogs/MySpace page/Facebook.
But it won’t stop with widgets. Eventually people are going to be drawn to very immersive rich experiences on a larger scale. Widgets do a great job of abstracting that and giving users some ownership, but as the bar gets higher and higher, people will expect more interactivity when they use the web. This has implications for web applications as well as web portals. A better, more rich experience will become a differentiator and that’s one of the value adds behind RIAs.
[tags]Slide, Flash, widgets[/tags]