Home Pageflakes 2.0 Launches

Pageflakes 2.0 Launches

Disclosure: Pageflakes is a sponsor of Read/WriteWeb.

It’s the season of v2.0 launches! The
personalized start page Pageflakes has undergone
a major upgrade to its interface, which has just gone live today. Back in May I posted about
Pageflakes’ page publishing feature, which enables users to share their pages
with other people – as read-only or editable. This type of community functionality has been extended in
the new version of Pageflakes. On the homepage it states:

“You can have multiple pages. For each of them you can choose to keep it private,
share it with friends or publish it on the Web.”

The idea is to enable users to form groups and share widgets that way. This may drive
user growth, as people get ‘invited’ into the system by their friends and family. That
looks to be the plan anyway – and it’ll be interesting to watch how it works out. There
is still a sense that personalized start pages are too geeky for the average user, which
Pageflakes (and its competition) will need to overcome.

Differences between Pageflakes and its competition

The page sharing and publishing functionality differentiates Pageflakes from its
competitors – and gives Pageflakes a social networking feel to it. Netvibes (probably its
main competitor) appears to be focusing more on being a homepage for individual
– reflected in the Netvibes motto
of “making your digital life better”. Webwag, a
recent entry to this space, has also established itself as a player via
a strategic partnership
with Yahoo.

What’s interesting here is that the leading small
players (i.e. not Google or Microsoft) are beginning to differentiate themselves – each
has their own style and positioning now. Could this be a sign that the start pages space
is maturing?

Nevertheless there’s a bit of an ‘arms race’ going on between all the start pages
regarding the number of widgets they have. Pageflakes has 120, while Netvibes has 391. Microsoft’s Live.com has 442 at this
date. But all are dwarfed by Google Personalized
, which boasts 1531
(see my 10 favorite
). It may not be totally apples and oranges, in terms of what each vendor counts
as a widget – e.g. some of Google’s widgets are pretty much just RSS feeds. In any case,
I think Pageflakes is wise to focus on building its community features rather than try
and compete on number of widgets.

The Start Page space never ceases to interest me, as it’s a hotbed of web innovation.
The pace is hot too, as both Netvibes and Pageflakes have released “2.0” versions

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