The Weight of the Widget, Volume III: Pitfalls

There are a few hurdles to face in the fresh world of widgets. Complaints can be heard coming from users, advertisers, and website owners alike.

Loading Time
The biggest concern voiced by widget users and site owners is
widget loading time. The time it takes to load a web page where a widget resides, is dependant on the third party code that exists on an entirely different server. Although some companies like Flickr are able to deliver fast and reliable service, smaller startup companies are often unable to handle the increase in demand, and end up failing to load the widget at all. And some critics predict that sites will become so cluttered with widgets that they won’t be effective whatsoever.

Another question companies ask when contemplating widget development is "how can widgets help our business make money?". Experts acknowledge that the economy of this type of online marketing tool is still being shaped. Without a pricing strategy, advertisers are apprehensive about paying top dollar for a widget that’s influence is unknown. So as marketers wait with baited breath for an idea of how to make a profit, widgets will continue to serve as tools to achieve brand awareness and lead generation.

The third obstacle lies in the measurement of usage. Given that users connect to widget content without opening any additional browser windows, counting page views and unique visitors will become obsolete. But people are getting closer to uncovering the answer with solutions to
measuring widget usage. As well, companies may need to identify specifically what qualifies as a widget before Internet traffic analysts are able to measure penetration.

So is widget marketing here to stay? I know a lot of younger demographics would argue them as a new age necessity. Generations that have been raised on the Internet have no time for a static banner. Their attitude isn’t just “what’s your brand going to do for me?” It’s “what’s your ad going to do for me?” But will there ever be a comprehensive method of measurement? And will the demand for widgets continue?

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