If you’re the type that likes to distance yourself from social media, odds are you probably aren’t terribly fond of the fact that it’s being integrated directly into a growing number of seemingly unrelated products. The latest prominent piece of software to integrate Facebook features into itself is Mozilla’s Firefox in the form of an optional toolbar.
The toolbar, the first to come out of Firefox’s Social API, installs Facebook Messenger in the browser so people can talk to their friends and family without needing a separate app open or having Facebook open in a different window / tab. It’s much like the app that’s built into the website where you can receive notifications about photo tags and comments in addition to simply chatting with someone.
Facebook’s Pamela Vagata said the social network was one of the first companies that Mozilla contacted with regards to building an API for social media. Facebook was a natural early partner because it had a mature chat product in addition to dynamic content.
Vagata notes that building the product directly for Firefox 17 meant they could depend on a number of HTML5 standards like Shared Worker and WebSockets. This allows them to build from the ground up, creating what they described as a fast and efficient service.
As The Verge notes, Mozilla isn’t the only one that’s been working to merge web activity with social media. Microsoft has been using Bing to weave search results with data from Twitter, Facebook, Quora and Foursquare.