Widgets are an “extremely exciting prospect” for advertisers and are likely to become increasingly popular in 2008, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The small interactive applications, which are “entirely permission-based”, are installed and utilised by the web user, allowing marketers to advertise without intruding.

Widgets will appeal to advertisers seeking to reach social networking site users because currently, these sites can be difficult for advertisers to reach without irritating their audience.

According to digital market analysts comScore, use of social networking sites in the UK is the highest in Europe, with UK users spending an average of 5.8 hours surfing per month.

Amy Kean, of the IAB, said: “Widgets and toolbars are very easy for businesses to create and execute, and once the original production cost has been incurred, can be an extremely cost-effective marketing tool.”

Ms Kean added the nature of widgets makes them an extremely exciting prospect for advertisers looking to penetrate the social networking space, without resorting to “intrusive and overt marketing messages”.

Related Topics: General Marketing