Mozilla is announcing the next big step for its Social API which would bring support for the social web into the browser. Mozilla has been working on this for several months and will run the first large-scale test in the Firefox 16 beta which has just landed.
In this test, Mozilla is working with Facebook to integrate Messenger, i.e. contacts, notifications and so on, into Firefox.
The test is not ready yet, Mozilla will enable it in a few weeks when everyone in the beta channel has updated to Firefox 17.
"The Social API is the result of a lot of research and experimentation with integrating social functionality into Firefox," Mozilla wrote.
"Much like the OpenSearch standard, the Social API enables developers to integrate social services into the browser in a way that is meaningful and helpful to users," it explained.
"As services integrate with Firefox via the Social API sidebar, it will be easy for you to keep up with friends and family anywhere you go on the Web without having to open a new Web page or switch between tabs," it said.
Mozilla has landed some components of the Social API already, back when Firefox 16 was in the Nightly channel, but now it's ready to test the API publicly.
Partnering with Facebook makes sense, for both companies. People are going to be most interested in Facebook integration, which means there will be more beta testers as well.
And Facebook wants its users to stay connected for as long as possible, having Messenger built into Firefox is a great way of achieving that.
However, the Social API will go beyond Facebook, it will go beyond social networking sites as well, Mozilla envisions email providers, news sites and plenty of other sites interested in building this type of notifications apps.