Part of the work that we’ve been doing for the next platform release is standardizing how we deal with widgets that have been customized through the custom widgets menu and what we internally call “insanely custom widgets” which have very unique looks usually driven by branding requirements. As shown below, many of these widgets won’t even have to be exactly square in design.
Another example unrelated to the above image: In September, we’ll be running a trial with a good sized wireless carrier in Latin America that has a user base in the few million user range. Not huge but likely “right sized” for our current server infrastructure. The trial runs for two weeks to 10% of their user base. If successful, the trial will morph into a full set of revenue producing services available to the entire user base. The widget to be used for this test is essentially a reproduction of the carrier’s brand – there is nothing similar to it in our existing widget library. That said, the code for this wireless carrier’s widget and, more importantly, the dynamically produced images of widgets that we use in Facebook and other places are now handled through the same new code as our regular and more conventionally custom widgets.
The bulk of this change will be invisible to most of you but was a huge leap forward for us. It improves your experience as a user by providing new out-of-the-normal widget designs and reduces the possibility for errors since we only have a single set of code to maintain. It also opens the door to a whole slew of widget customization opportunities that we hadn’t been able to do before through a web interface. We previously were having to manually build exceptions for every insanely custom widget that we built. That is no longer the case.