Mozilla releases info on the Coop

April 4, 2007

Mozilla has finally released some details on it’s long awaited development to add social networking features into Firefox.

In a nutshell this will enable you to share things with your network of friends and acquaintances. You’ll be able to send content to friends and have access to content from friends in your network.

Mozilla say:

Just a few years ago, one of the most popular uses of the internet was to send jokes, cute pictures, and news stories to friends and family (social networks) via email. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that not a lot has changed except the medium. Now one of the most common uses of instant messenger services and social networking sites is to send people links to jokes, cute pictures and interesting news stories.

This behavior isn’t at all surprising – it’s friends sharing experiences, the very backbone of social interactions and friendships. It’s also unsurprising that most “Web 2.0″ services have a feature that makes it easy for you to build a social network so that you can share things more easily, or subscribe to a friend’s activity as a way of keeping in touch.

What is surprising, however, is how little of this type of functionality has made it into today’s web browsers. The result is that when people think of tools for social interaction, email and instant messenger are at the top of their list, not web browsers.

Enter “The Coop”, a Mozilla Labs project to experiment with adding social tools to the web browser. We want to create a fun and easy way to share links with your friends, and to browse the set of links that friends have shared with you. We also want to make it easy to “subscribe” to a friend in order to make it easy to keep track of the pictures, movies, blog posts and status information that they might be posting on a variety of services.

One thing that springs to mind is that this will surely integrate the experience of visiting some social network sites directly into the browser, thus negating the need to actually visit those websites anymore. I’ve long thought that some social networks could become obsolete due to users being able to have the same experience on the desktop, this could be the beginning of such a trend, not the best news for advertisers then…

There’s more information on the project on the Mozilla wiki here.

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