WebRTC is taking shape, with Mozilla and Google pushing to make the technology a reality in a couple months' time. Both Chrome and Firefox support the main components of WebRTC, a complex new technology and upcoming standard that will enable real-time audio and video chat in the browser.
Mozilla is a bit ahead, it promised to have all the major components ready by the year's end and it has kept its promise.
Everything works in Firefox now, in the experimental versions though, not in the stable channel, access to the webcam and mic, peer-to-peer video and audio, and more recently data transfers.
Firefox added support for getUsermedia, which handles the webcam and mic, months ago, the feature is supported by both Opera and Chrome.
Next, PeerConnection, which handles the audio and video streams between two browsers, no central server involved, was introduced. Chrome also supports this.
Finally, Firefox now supports DataChannels that, as the name suggests, allows browsers to share almost any type of data. This can be text chat, links or even files. This last component makes it possible to create a full blown chat application in a browser.
That's what Mozilla's demo features, a chat app that supports pretty much everything you need.
The Social API, which is unique to Firefox, is a great companion to WebRTC. Only Facebook is using the Social API for now, but you can expect more sites to develop apps for it soon.
With the Social API integration, a browser is all you need to keep in touch with your friends, in any way you want, text, audio or video, as well as share anything, from links to photos.
WebRTC and Social API would enable Facebook to build a Messenger web app that would handle all of the tasks the current Messenger does, all by using standard technologies without users having to stay on Facebook.com to do it. Currently, Facebook Messenger for Firefox only supports text chat.