San Francisco — The gist for survival in today’s competitive environment is the one who wins at the expense of their rivals, and Google is no exception… as they adapt themselves best to their environment. Search engine titan Google holds the key to countless gadgets, and the latest of the gadget is called “What’s Popular?”, a new Digg style social voting platform that can give iGoogle home page users a service similar to those offered by StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Mixx, and may signal that Google has lost any interest in acquiring Digg.
The categories are separated into stories, videos and images. Google on the gadget’s about page explains that this gadget “helps you discover interesting items from all over the Internet … What’s Popular employs algorithms to find interesting content from a combination of your submissions and trends in aggregated user activity across a variety of Google services, like YouTube and Google Reader.”
Google’s “What’s Popular” allows users to “pop” stories that fascinates them in Google News and beyond. Armed with these votes and an algorithm, Google can decide what’s popular and show promoted stories front and center.
The iGoogle Widget also allows users to read and vote on “All Popular” according to Google, “My Pops” — are stories that have been voted on by the users and “My Adds” — stories added by the user.
To install the new gadget, just go to its gallery page, click on the “add it now” button and you are done. Once you visit your iGoogle page, you will see it running and already bristling with popular stories and links. By default, What’s Popular finds trending content on Google sites like News, YouTube, and Reader. You can also submit links to it for consideration.
Google offers an explanation here:
How we find interesting stuff
What’s Popular employs algorithms to search eye-catching contents from a combination of your submissions and trends in aggregated user activity across a variety of Google services, like YouTube and Google Reader.
Users can rate items that you like or dislike by clicking the ratings buttons next to each item. Eventually, if you change your mind, you can change your rating at anytime.
Users can also sort out the stories based on date, popularity and relevance and in addition to stories, videos and images can be added. Without much of a social aspect, calling “What’s Popular” a Digg competitor could be a stretch, but the voting and bookmarking is made easy and very Digg -like by the iGoogle gadget.
More stories appear as you scroll so there is effectively no bottom.
With Google slowly but surely paving its way into social, via OpenSocial, Friend Connect and of course GTalk; something could be added soon if this gadget takes off.
Especially interesting is the usage of “What’s Popular” as a planner for daily reading, as stories and media could be submitted or “popped” in the morning, and then be read on the iPhone or mobile device during a daily commute.