What do you want a widget, app or branded browser to do for you? Your answer can determine your results.

Over the past week, three articles from AdAge, Adweek and MediaPost have provided their take on the current state of widgets and Facebook applications. I’m inserting myself into the discussion because there’s commonality with widgets, apps and Brand Thunder’s branded browsers – engagement. The articles follow, and not all are kind:

Widgets Are Made for Marketing, So Why Aren’t More Advertisers Using Them?
Apps: The Newest Brand Graveyard
Of Widgets, Apps And Social Advertising

When these products get criticized, it seems to be on quantity of downloads and users. You get the feeling that the measures of success are the old reach and frequency metrics of broadcast. Expectations for millions of users for a single product should be lowered. Tens or hundreds of thousands, however, is achievable and can pay dividends.

By the time a user has invited one of our branded browsers into their life, we’ve worked hard to make sure they find it interesting, compelling and adding value or we know we’ll be asked to leave. If we’ve done our job, our branded browser gets to engage that user for weeks, months or years. Pretty phenomenal communications channel, and you’ll find widgets and apps can offer the same engagement value.

Are we splashing a message to millions of people? Probably not. But, we connect with a sizable audience for really large amounts of time. If you use that time wisely, you can come away with a very committed customer.

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