Finally! Web Clips!

It has been eight months since Evan Williams first saw Web Clips in his Gmail account, and Google has finally rolled out the service to the rest of us. You should see them in your Gmail, and if you don’t, logging out and back in again should do the trick.

Web Clips

So, what are Web Clips? Basically, its a simple RSS ticker, showing headlines from RSS feeds above your Gmail inbox (or Spam folder, as it were). Clicking a “Customize” button on the right of the Web Clip bar lets you change options for it, or turn it off if it annoys you.

Web Clips Settings

Web Clips comes preloaded with 22 feeds. They are:

You can remove any feed, and add any feed. There are also six categories (News, Business, Lifestyle, Sports, Tech, Fun) you can look through, each containing a few feeds. There isn’t one feed that’ll surprise you, just big media sites like CNet, and big blogs like Slashdot. Google kept their choices safe.

Web Clips Spam

Web Clips Trash

Hilariously, Google has subscribed the Spam and Trash folder to spam recipe and recycling feeds, respectively. Nothing like learning about how to make spam fajitas every time you check your junk, and that alone might convince some people to use Web Clips.

Web Clips Ad

Conversly, sometimes you see sponsored links (ads), and that alone might convince some people to turn off Web Clips.

You can’t turn off the ads, or the Gmail tips you occasionally get, unless you turn off Web Clips, so that’s a decision every Gmail user will have to weight. Google says the feeds are displayed randomly, not based at all on your email content, but they don’t say anything about the ads, which seems to suggest they’re like any other Gmail ad.

The biggest shame is probably that Web Clips don’t draw from your Google Reader. Considering both Gmail and Reader draw from the Google Accounts system, you’d think that a simple amount of code would link the two. The hardest thing to determine with a new Google launch is whether or not Google is serious about the development of the service. Ask me again in a year.

Anyway, Web Clips have been a really long time coming. Here are all the posts I’ve written that discuss them:

Gmail Adds Feed Reading - April 14
Where Are My Web Clips? - April 25
Gmail Clips Roll Out Slowly - May 2
Google Releases Desktop 2 - August 22
Still No Web Clips - August 25

December 9, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in:

5 Responses to “Finally! Web Clips!”

  1. Scott Says:

    I’ve had webclips for about a year. About time. ..

  2. Brock Says:

    The ads are definately text sensitive. I was discussing a digital camera with my wife and instead of an RSS feed I got an ad for memory cards.

    Webclips are useless. Any feed I would want to subscribe to is in my feed reader. I’d rather they spent their time on Google Talk integration or something.

  3. Scott Says:

    Webclips does allow your own RSS feed. At least on mine. Maybe this is a feature for others to follow.

  4. Matthias Says:

    “and Google has finally rolled out the service to the rest of us.”

    No! Only in den US-Version. With my usual german-language setting I don’t have webclips. But changing the setting does the trick. I think that’s strange… Shouldn’t be a big problem for google to offer webclips in different languages.

  5. 小隆網管日誌 » Blog Archive » Gmail 提供 web clips Says:

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