The Web 2.0 development platform, KickApps, released Version 3.0 of their service today. For those who don't know, KickApps allows web site publishers to add a "social media" page to their site, which may include spaces for blog posts, pictures, videos, and a message board. The service also allows the user to embed widgets containing this media throughout their site. For a good example of what I am talking about, check out the newly launched Guinness World Records site.
The newest release will provide for more developer support through KickApps' new Open API's. Those with the skills for advanced customization are welcome to do so. Also, during with my conversation with KickApps' Michael Chin, he told me that KickApps will be the first platform to support applications written for Facebook in FBML. This means that KickApps users will be able to embed Facebook applications on their website.
KickApps is also starting to target smaller publishers and making their tools more accessible to everyone. They do have big name affiliates like Guinness World Records, which I mentioned above, but they really want to break into the small publisher market as well. The publisher control panel has gotten a major overhaul and includes traffic statistics, much like Google Analytics. They have also implemented a "news feed" similar to Facebook's to inform you of activity on your KickApps features.
KickApps is also introducing a widget design studio. They have included the ability to turn any part of your KickApps page into a widget with only one click. I think that the widgets are where KickApps' biggest value lies. Their widgets flow with the actual site much better than their dedicated page does.
KickApps has some really interesting features and they will see a good bit of success from this release. They just introduced some really killer features and it is definitely worth taking a look at. There is certainly real value in creating a social community around your website, for the big players and the little publishers, and KickApps is in a great position to capitalize on that market.