Yesterday Netvibes introduced Netvibes Universe, a compilation of both personal and branded universes that will give you access to more information. Netvibes is known as being one of the best personalized Ajax-based homepages organized with tabs, and filled with user selected widgets. This is a whole new area for them to dive into, and one that I think will attract new users.
If a user decides that they want a personal universe, they will have the option of creating both a private page and a public page where everybody will be able to see what is on the page. The public page will be like your personal recommendation and you can include feeds, widgets, sites, and other content that you think others should check-out.
Last week we wrote about CBS teaming up with several big names to distribute content, and Netvibes was one of them. The branded universes is where CBS and other names will fit in.
Netvibes has partnered with not only media companies, but musicians and other sources to create Branded Universes like CNN Money, Newsweek, CBS, 50 Cent, and more. They can be accessed from anywhere for free, or you can even add the content to your personal Netvibes page.
They’ve created a “Universe Browser” which will help you navigate through all of the different Universes available. Using that browser, you’ll also be able to add new ones.There are several pages of different Branded Universes, which gives you plenty to choose from, and they’ll be adding more in the future. Right now they’re listed in alphabetical order, and because there are only 12 pages, it’s not too difficult to sort through them all.
In the future however, I think they’ll need to come up with a new way of organizing them so that it’s quicker and easier to find items in the categories you’re interested in like music or news. The list of current Branded Universes can be found here.
Thus far, Netvibes has always remained one step up from the rest of the crowd like Google, and Yahoo with their personalized homepages. I’m wondering if Google and Yahoo will take this challenge and look for opportunities to improve their service, or if they’ll just stick with what they have and make moderate improvements here and there.
Netvibes has set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd in the past, and this is another great way to set them apart further and draw in more fans.