The ability to completely customize your browser with thousands of add-ons is one of the best features of Firefox, and highlights the talent, dedication, and innovation of our great community. With thousands of add-ons and close to 1.5 billion downloads, Mozilla has been working hard this year to provide a great experience for both add-on users and developers.
Today, we’re excited to introduce a new feature to our website that will expose the niche add-ons that can be hard to find, and gives users a more active role in helping outstanding add-ons bubble to the top. One thing we’ve learned as add-ons have grown in popularity over the years is that once a user finds an add-on they love, they become a fan for life. We see this all the time as people recommend add-ons to their friends and write great reviews. And we’re very happy to see so many bloggers writing about lists of their favorite add-ons.
We’ve created a short video demonstration to introduce this new feature:
In November, we launched Fashion Your Firefox, which was a collection of add-ons that we felt were great for a novice user just getting started with customizing their browser. Now, we’d like to take it a step further and let anyone create their own collection of add-ons that can be shared with their friends, posted on blogs, and featured on the Firefox Add-ons website.
Starting today, visitors to the add-ons website will see a brand new look with collections of add-ons front and center. We’ve integrated collections throughout the site, and created a Collection Directory that showcases all of the add-on lists created by our users. There are a number of Mozilla-created collections that are featured throughout the site, but we hope to replace these with useful community-created collections in the near future. If you find a collection you like, logged-in users can mark it as a favorite to easily get back to it later.
Creating a collection of your own is as easy as giving it a name, like “Ken’s Favorite Data Analysis Extensions” or “Halloween Themes”, and choosing what add-ons you’d like in the collection. It will then show up in the directory, and can be sent to your friends or linked in your blog. The more people add it as a favorite, the higher it will be ranked.
There are a lot of add-ons out there, so finding a collection related to a topic you’re interested in will be a huge time-saver. But what if you want to subscribe to that collection so that you find out when new add-ons are published to it? You can subscribe to a collection via RSS, or you can install the Add-on Collector extension for Firefox. The Collector turns your favorite collections into subscriptions in your browser, where you’ll be notified as soon as new add-ons are published to one of your collections. The extension has a number of other features, including the ability to share an add-on you have installed with a friend by e-mail, publish an add-on to one of your collections, and set up a collection that is automatically kept up to date with your installed add-ons.
We hope that collections will make add-ons more social and encourage add-on users to be involved in the community. So, head on over to the Collection Directory to get started with collections and fashion Firefox the way you want it.
Note: There are currently some issues with logging in via the Add-on Collector extension. We hope to have these fixed Wednesday morning. Update: The Collector is now fixed and login should be working properly in version 1.0.2 of the extension.