Bringing Social to Firefox

Johnathan Nightingale

From the Mozilla Roadmap:

The Web has become inherently social. The browser is not yet playing a significant role in enabling the social experience. Firefox will begin to enable easy sharing and a more social browsing experience.

At the beginning of this year, we set out to bring more of the social web into Firefox with a feature we called Share. It was very simple. It let you take a link and push it to a social service. As we developed the feature, though, it was clear that we could do more. We saw an opportunity to introduce an open social API to browsers, similar to our creation of the open search API years ago.

In March, we shared some preliminary thoughts about the technology touchpoints between the browser and social providers. That work has progressed steadily and we are now figuring out how this will feel for Firefox users.

This week the first pieces of our work will land in mozilla-central, the primary Firefox development repository. The user experience will roll out one step at a time. First, we’ll offer an easy way to recommend things that you discover on the Web. Next, we’ll add support for notifications coming from the service and, once that’s landed, we’ll start on integrated news feeds and chat.

We’re going to need a lot of feedback from our community about how to evolve and fine tune the Firefox social experience over the next few releases. We’ll also be listening closely to feedback from social providers about the API itself. Even in these early days, though, we’re really excited about the possibilities that an open social API represents for the future of browsing. We hope you are, too.

Asa, Johnathan and the Firefox team