Mozilla has a very clear view on its mission, to make it easier for people to experience the web, in all it forms, and to make the web better. Part of that means creating better web technologies and standards and part of it means making Firefox better.
One thing that Mozilla wants is to free up users from having to rely on various proprietary platforms for what should be basic web functionality, identity and authentication for one.
But Mozilla has been working on “liberating” users in another way, by building social tools into Firefox itself.
Mozilla has been experimenting with this for a while, the F1 sharing add-on which later became Firefox Share, for example, but the experimentation period is done, social is now built into Firefox.
The first social-related feature will land in Firefox 16 Nightly this week, the ability to share things you stumble upon on the web with friends. In practice, this means the ability to share a link via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Gmail or whatever platform you prefer.
Or all of them if that’s what you want. It’s unclear what platforms Firefox will support at first, but the goal is to have as many as possible.
Moving further, Mozilla plans to expand the social features in Firefox. The next step is to add support for notifications into the browser, meaning you’ll know when new tweets arrive in your feed, when you have new emails, or when someone has commented on your Facebook photos.
After that, Mozilla plans to build a unified newsfeed into Firefox as well as a chat feature. Basically, you’ll be able to do in Firefox everything you’d do on Twitter, Facebook and so on. That’s the goal at least, it’s probably going to take a while to get there.
All of this is or will be made possible with the Social API, which Mozilla hopes will become the standard way of integrating social website functionality into browsers or, indeed, any other app.