Bill Hartzer

comScore Launches Widget Metrix Service to Track Widget Usage

According to comScore, photo-related widgets dominate the top 10, and slide widget usages ranks number one–with a reach of 117 million people worldwide. Because of this comScore, the company that tracks internet usage world wide and “measures the digital world”, has launched comScore Widget Metrix, a service to track the usage of widgets across the Internet.

comScore tracks “Web Widgets”, the data files that are embedded into a web site’s back-end html code. Usually, Web Widgets are displayed in the sidebar on a web site and are used by the web site’s owner to “personalize” their site a bit more…by sharing customized web content to certain visitors. They’re also used to share photos or even the site owner’s music recommendations. Web Widgets are very often seen on blogs, social networking web sites, and other “personal” type sites.

comScore recently analyzed the top ten Web Widgets used worldwide and revealed that photo-related widgets are most often used.

According to comScore, the most popular widget provider was slide, with a whopping overall reach of more than 117 million unique viewers–or 13.8 percent of the total worldwide audience.

comScore also reported that the other top photo-related Web Widgets included RockYou (82 million viewers), PictureTrail (31 million viewers), and Photobucket (28 million viewers).

comScore also notes that Facebook’s recent opening of their doors to third-party Web Widget developers most likely will have “a significant impact” on the usage of Web Widgets; they also noted that Facebook’s decision to open their API will “likely have a significant impact in shaping the widget landscape over the coming months.”

  Top Web Widgets Worldwide
  April 2007
  Source: comScore Widget Metrix

                                            Percent of
                      Unique Viewers     Worldwide Online
  Widget                  (000)             Audience

  All Widgets            177,777              21.0%
  Slide                  117,072              13.8%
  RockYou                 82,045               9.7%
  PictureTrail            30,647               3.6%
  Photobucket             28,189               3.3%
  BunnyHeroLabs           24,984               3.0%
  BlingyBlob              21,614               2.6%
  Poqbum                  18,697               2.2%
  Brightcove              16,866               2.0%
  Layoutstar              15,348               1.8%        15,089               1.8%

Another interesting fact to note is that the Web Widget penetration is the highest in North America according to comScore.

As more and more web sites across employ Web widgets, the worldwide penetration will continue to grow. In April 2007, comScore reported that Web Widget penetration was the highest in North America. They say that 40.3 percent of web users visited a site that contained a Web Widget, followed by Western Europe at 24.3 percent and Latin America at 17.5 percent.

  Web Widget Internet Audience Penetration by Worldwide Region
  April 2007
  Source: comScore Widget Metrix

                      Unique Viewers   Widget Penetration*
  Region                 (000)             by Region

  Worldwide              177,777              21.0%
  North America           81,011              40.3%
  Western Europe          43,792              24.3%
  Asia Pacific            33,514              10.9%
  Latin America           10,074              17.5%
  Middle East-Africa       4,805              12.6%
  Eastern Europe           4,581               7.6%

* Penetration = Number of unique widget viewers /number of total Internet users for that region

Web Widgets are defined as being “embedded flash (.swf) objects”. comScore expects to change and adapt its tracking service to include other file types as needs change.

For more information about the comScore Widget Metrix, go here.

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