Sprout, the widget creator, has announced its support for the Facebook Platform, Facebook Connect, and OpenSocial earlier this week. The drag-n-drop process for Flash-based widget creation can be used for a widening array of purposes, including social media applications, which can now reside on the major social networking platforms.
For publishers using Sprout, this means that their campaigns can be pushed out across Facebook, MySpace and other Open Social participants, broadening exposure. Sprout’s key to success, however, has been the simplistic way in which widgets can be created. At the height of the widget craze Sprout emerged as an attractive solution for creating more complex and customizable widgets than some of the other widget creators had been offering, enabling publishers to offer more features to their end users.
Now that social networks have established themselves as hubs for the bulk of online interaction, being able to deploy such widgets across the major sites is a necessity. So what took so long?
Sprout was anxious to offer its widget services for platform use, but decided to wait for a better client that would work with Flash. According to Michelle Wohl, the VP of Marketing at Sprout, the company “looked at the Flash libraries created by the Open Source community but decided to wait for the ActionScript 3.0 Client Library for Facebook Platform.” Additionally, Sprout wanted to build on an officially sponsored AS3 library that’s supported by both Adobe as well as Facebook.
It turned into a matter of waiting for the right time for Sprout as they didn’t see the existing platform offerings stable enough to proceed. The wait may be worth it for users of Sprout, given the attention to detail the widget creation company has paid to ensuring that its Flash widgets work seamlessly on all the major platform offerings out there. This attention is also useful given the cross-network approach that many socially engaged applications are requiring as of late.