The small software applications
known as widgets let users share music, photos and videos on social
networks. They’re hot right now because they help boost social network
traffic and ad revenue, according to a January 2008 Forbes article.

http://opengardensblog.futuretext.com/Widgets1.jpg

Facebook users have installed nearly 13,000 widgets about 765 million times, according to

Adnomics, which tracks widgets on the social network. Adnomics put the combined value of these widgets at $374 million.

"Six months ago, the thought of someone altering his or her home page to
incorporate someone else’s widget into their brand [was considered]
dilutive," said Jay Adelson, CEO of social network
Digg.

"There’s been an acceptance by traditional media that widgets give them
some reciprocal benefit," he added. "In 2008, you’ll see traditional brands that
have controlled every element of their page open up."

Via eMarketer