The new Social API is an effort that will embed social networking site activity and collaboration directly into Firefox. For years, there have been multiple types of browser add-ons that try to enable social networking. The new Social API aims to go a step further with a uniquely integrated experience that weaves social networking fabric right into the core of the daily browsing experience.
“We want to build something generic into the foundation of the browser, so whoever your social provider is, you can plug them in and have a persistent, integrated experience,” Johnathan Nightingale, Senior Director of Firefox Engineering at Mozilla told Datamation.
The Social API is set to become part of Firefox 17, which is now in public beta. The first social provider that will be supported is Facebook. Nightingale explained that the first thing users will notice when the Social API is activated is that a new sidebar become available. For Facebook, the sidebar will display a ticker of activity from a user’s friends as well as a Facebook chat capability.
In the location bar, the Social API integration will also expose a ‘like’ button for Facebook. Nightingale noted that other social networking site providers can similarly tie in via a ‘share’ button capability.
“So as you are browsing around reading stuff you always have the ability to share with a single click and you always have the sidebar available so you can keep in touch,” Nightingale said. “Social is an overlay on the work you’re already doing in the browser, it’s not a discrete task.”