Coming in June: iGoogle canvas view, ads

iGoogle's full-screen view, due next month, will let Web site application developers employ advertisements on personal home page service.

Update 2:10 p.m. PDT: I added Google comment about its ad quality requirements.

Google will overhaul its iGoogle interface in June and give people a way to advertise on its personalized home page service, the company said.

The ads will be an option for iGoogle's "canvas view," which lets iGoogle applications expand to fill the whole browser screen, Google said Tuesday on its iGoogle developer blog.

"Those of you with existing applications should add a canvas view to take advantage of more screen real estate. And using canvas view, you can also monetize with ads," said Dan Holevoet of Google's developer programs group, on the blog.

It won't be an ad free-for-all, though.

"Ads will be limited to the canvas view only and certain types of ads will not be allowed. Developers are free to use any ad provider," said iGoogle senior product manager Jessica Ewing in a statement. "To maintain the best user experience, we plan on surveying users to determine how ads impact user satisfaction. Poor user ratings and reviews may impact a gadget's viral features, ranking, and directory listing."

And Google wants to be sure ads aren't inadvertently clicked, a problem in the regular non-canvas view. "We don't allow advertising in the home view (small gadget view) because the gadget real-estate is limited and we've noticed that many clicks in that space are in error," Ewing said.

In April, Google launched a "sandbox" to let developers try the canvas view along with an iGoogle interface change that adds a left-hand navigation pane with a user's list of Web site gadgets.

Later this summer, Holevoet said, Google will add the OpenSocial API to iGoogle. OpenSocial is a cooperative effort including several Google rivals that lets programmers create Web site applications that can run on any OpenSocial-enabled site.

Also coming later this summer are iGoogle updates and notifications, where for example an application can notify a user's friends of some event such as a new high score in a game.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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