Social networking site Bebo took its first step into the widget realm yesterday, including support for Flash-powered photo slideshow widgets from PhotoBucket, Slide, or RockYou. Each partner site uses the newly created Bebo API to pass a fully configured widget back to Bebo without exposing details such as HTML code snippets to its users. The direct partnerships and whitelisted widgets allow Bebo to slowly add more customization options in a controlled environment, hopefully avoiding some of the security and general exploit issues present on MySpace.
Each member profile now has a new widget configuration option. Users can comment on any other user’s widget, clone the widget to add it to their own profile, or e-mail the slideshow to a friend. This viral feature makes a lot of sense since friends can share a single widget of last weekend’s party while only one person goes through the effort of signing up for a widget service, uploading the photos, and discovering the appropriate sharing features.
The Bebo add a widget page lists the three slideshow providers in random order. Surprisingly not one company created a specially branded advertisement for Bebo users but Slide definitely has the best landing page, letting Bebo users dive right into creating a shareable slideshow.
I walked through the full process creating a new account on Photobucket, uploading a few pictures, and then sharing on Bebo. A Photobucket user bundles a few uploaded photos into a slideshow and selects the “Share” link instead of selecting an embed snippet. The Photobucket server already had my Bebo username so all I had to do was choose a title. Pretty simple.
Expect more widgets in the future from Bebo, tying together user data on various outside systems into an online personality and pieces of flair.