Google gets personal with iGoogle

igoogle.jpgGoogle renamed its personalized home page iGoogle, an effort to sex up the branding of a service that is its fastest growing.

Here is the iGoogle page.

Adding to its existing “gadget” offerings for your iGoogle page, Google additionally gives you today a photo album, a Googlegram (a week-long greeting message to someone), a Daily Me channel (where you can say what you’re currently doing, similar to the function served by competitor Twitter) a Freeform feature and a YouTube favorites channel that can be shared with friends, and more.

Google is trying to become more social, and is catching up with Yahoo, which has explored social features more aggressively over the past two years.

Here’s a good blog summary of the unveiling of iGoogle.

Google’s Sepandar Kamvar suggested it was yet another way to track what each person finds important, giving Google more knowledge to be able to make search results — and advertising — more relevant, although it has yet to fully explore this area. It now has three buckets of information about you: (1) your regular searches, (2) your Web surfing history, if you’ve turned that feature on, and your Google Desktop searches, and (3) your choices at iGoogle.