Mozilla has released its new Social API. The API is included in the latest desktop release of Firefox, along with a preview of social integration with Facebook Messenger for Firefox. According to a Mozilla blog post, the Social API enables social services to “integrate into Firefox in a compelling way and makes it easier to use the web the way you want”. It added: “The Social API includes features like a social sidebar, toolbar notification buttons and the ability to easily chat with your friends no matter where you are on the web.”
Mozilla likens the Social API to the OpenSearch standard, and in a press release said the technology will make it easier for users to keep up with friends and family without having to switch between or open new tabs. Examples of the social API in use provided by Mozilla include chatting about news events in context and commenting in real-time while online videos play.
Although the Social API currently only supports Facebook Messenger for Firefox, Mozilla is thinking much wider in the long term. The press release said the organisation was looking forward to seeing what developers would build on the API, which it hoped would become a social standard for the web. Support for more features and multiple providers will come in subsequent releases, and Mozilla is keen on listening to feedback from early users, to see how the browser “can do more to keep them connected to their social lives online”.
In order to test the Social API, simply upgrade to the latest Firefox, visit Facebook Messenger for Firefox and click ‘Turn On’. As Mozilla notes, if you’re not feeling social, you can also easily hide the sidebar or even disable the feature entirely.