Netvibes, the service that lets users customize a homepage with their RSS, social network, Twitter and email feeds, among other widgets, has introduced several new tools in a push to become a real-time dashboard for users’ online lives.
Starting today, Netvibes users can click on any one of their friends, a screen name, hashtag, etc., drag the icon outside the widget in question and drop it anywhere else on their homepage to create a brand new widget following only that person or topic. For example, if you wanted to isolate communications from a co-worker during a project, you could create a new widget for convenient viewing, and delete it immediately after the project is done, Netvibes says. Right now, this technology is only available for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace widgets on the site.
This new feature is significant not just for users, but also the widget developers working with Netvibes, the company says. Having users self-replicate widgets — perhaps creating dozens a week to follow different people and interests — could help widget-developers build their brands and interact with users on a new dynamic level. Allowing users to customize their feeds on a daily or even hourly basis is a fairly new concept.
Netvibes says it plans to implement this “drag-and-follow” technology across a variety of widgets in the near future. The announcement comes a week after its preview of a new live feed reader at TechCrunch’s Real Time Stream CrunchUp. It says it will launch this real-time RSS tool in the coming months, an important step toward becoming a real-time destination for users looking to personalize the web.
Netvibes has raised $16 million in venture capital to date from Index Ventures, Accel Partners and a handful of individual investors.
Here’s a video showing how the drag and drop technology works:
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