Pageflakes has just updated their service this morning with a handful of new features. The company is calling this latest release "Blizzard." Users now get their own profile page and can link up with other Pageflakes users as friends. They can also browse through users by interest, based on items they've put together on their customized Pagecasts. The goal is to make the service feel like less of a solitary experience and make it easier to share user-created Pagecasts.
Also new is the option to completely customize a page. There are themes and simple color arrangements for users to pick from, and a tool to create your own. In the same vein, there are now media pages from third-party content providers and sponsors, nearly identical to what competitor Netvibes rolled out with their Universes feature in mid-April. Pageflakes is launching this feature with themed content pages from CNN, AOL, Rolling Stone, and the Washington Post, among others.
To help users find content to add to their pages, Pageflakes has also redone their widget gallery, which they call "flakes." There are about a quarter of a million widgets, which is about twice that of Netvibes.
The Blizzard release also opens up the door to users of Apple's Safari browser, who up until now have been unable to access the site. However, there's no news on whether an iPhone-friendly version of the start page service is in the works. To see more shots of the new features, click the read more link below.