The Mozilla Team has recently published details about inclusion of a Social Platform Provider API in Firefox. Through this API, users will be able to engage with social networks from within the browser and its addons. This is similar to search API published a while ago that allowed search engine providers to build search addons easily.
Though the plan is generic, its obvious that Mozilla will target major social sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Last.FM etc. A few highlights of what users will be able to do through this API is given below:
- Know which of contacts are available - either immediately, for chat, audio, or video; or "later", for message delivery and sharing.
- Start, or join, conversations with contacts.
- See updates and links from contacts. For some users and times, we'll want to see updates as soon as possible; at other times, we'll want to wait until we have time to reflect and process.
- Share updates and links with some, or all, of contacts.
- Recommend, or express support, for things that we discover on the net.
- Receive recommendations, or engage in communications about, activities that we're doing on the net right now. This could be immediate - "watch this with me" - or it could be delayed - "this is my favorite movie on the site", or "it's your turn".
Talks are on to integrate a Social Provider Sidebar in Firefox that will allow users to use and interact with social networks from a visible sidebar space. This API is currently in development and Mozilla is currently busy taking feedback from users and developers. We can expect it to land in development releases of Firefox soon.