Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Firefox 17 Goes Mainstream With Integrated Social API Support

By - Source: Mozilla | B 14 comments

Firefox 17 has gone mainstream, introducing to users the new Social API which allows social outlets like Facebook to create native controls and sidebars instead of sketchy add-ons.

Mozilla's blog was updated on Tuesday with news that Firefox 17 has escaped the beta channel and is now available for the general web surfing audience. As reported last month, this build supports the company's Social API which allows developers to display native, "in-chrome user controls" and sidebars instead of questionable, risky add-ons that must be installed.

The first to take advantage of this new feature is Facebook. The popular social network adds an embedded Facebook Messenger sidebar on the right side of the browser window, and toolbar notification buttons (sidebar off/on, friend requests, messages, notifications) mounted above so that social bugs know when someone sends them another Farmville request or other notifications. The sidebar itself is identical to Facebook's version, sporting the timeline on the top half and the IM list on the bottom.

Last month, Johnathan Nightingale, Senior Director of Firefox Engineering at Mozilla, said that as Mozilla worked on the new API, the Facebook Messenger team built the Firefox client, serving as the first supported social provider. Both teams worked together to "check assumptions and debug issues" all the while pushing each other to create "something excellent."

However, he pointed out that Social API is not provider-specific and, like OpenSearch, Mozilla is striving to establish a social standard on the Web with this new API.

"As services integrate with Firefox via the Social API sidebar, it will be easy for you to keep up with friends and family without having to switch between or open new tabs," Mozilla said on Tuesday. "You can stay connected to your favorite social site even while you are surfing the Web, watching a video or playing a game."

To get started, download the latest version of Firefox here, and then head to this Facebook page to install the Messenger client for Firefox. After that, you're all set, and it's easy to turn off and remove altogether. Social API doesn’t change what social providers can see about the user's online behavior unless they explicitly decide to share it, the company said last month.

"Today’s Social API is just the beginning of making Firefox more social. We’ll soon add support for more features and multiple providers," Mozilla said. "We’ll also be listening to feedback from our early users to understand how Firefox can do more to keep them connected to their social lives online."

Developers wanting to know how to take advantage of Mozilla's Social API can head here.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , November 21, 2012 5:32 PM
    Yo dog, I heard you like using your web browser to browse social networking sites, so we put some social networking sites in your web browser so you can browse the web while you use social networking sites.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    davewolfgang , November 21, 2012 5:15 PM
    You got your Facebook in my FireFox....

    Sorry, had to say it!!
  • -1 Hide
    nocteratus , November 21, 2012 5:28 PM
    I haven't seen any difference yet from firefox 18
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    nocteratus , November 21, 2012 5:29 PM
    I mean Firefox 16
  • 2 Hide
    Cryio , November 21, 2012 5:31 PM
    The most interesting thing Firefox will do in the near future is their new UI Australis. Curious about that.

    Anyway, more interesting that any other browser, which haven't done anything in a while, not even Opera.
  • 11 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , November 21, 2012 5:32 PM
    Yo dog, I heard you like using your web browser to browse social networking sites, so we put some social networking sites in your web browser so you can browse the web while you use social networking sites.
  • 1 Hide
    Pherule , November 21, 2012 5:52 PM
    If I wanted dogcrap in my browser I would install it with an addon. I do not want it in by default. I thought Mozilla were on a good roll, but they just mucked up bigtime here. Yes yes, I know it can be disabled. That's not the point.
  • 0 Hide
    makaveli316 , November 21, 2012 6:16 PM
    I was a big fan of firefox, but few days ago i just snapped after i bought my new ssd and i wanted to try Chrome one more time, cause i always thought it was overrated and with shitty customization.
    Until now i can't feel a big difference in speed while browsing, still think that is overrated the so called "difference in speed". I doubt we can feel the difference in milliseconds in real time usage.
    Anyway one huge difference is the start time. Chrome opens instantly and i mean instantly when i click it, while firefox always hangs a second and then starts. I tried fresh install, with and without add ons and still it hangs. Maybe after a fresh install it opens a lil bit faster, but still....
    I don't know why this happens, i bought a Samsung 830 256gb and i want speed, which Firefox doesn't give me.
    I never thought i will say that, but i like Chrome better.
    Firefox, what happened to you....
  • 1 Hide
    rwinches , November 21, 2012 6:33 PM
    Maybe I missed it where it said they made it not pig slow and a memory hog!
    I think some of you may have fire breathing PC's with laser fast internet, which is great, but if you are on a device with 2 gB mem and connected over wifi at 56-150 (like a netbook or TAB) then you will see a huge difference. I had two tabs open and FF was using nearly half a gig! When I went to huffpro the page froze until the pic loaded only to freeze again when the page updated which happens often on that site.. I too want FF to catch up, but as it is they are far behind.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , November 21, 2012 8:51 PM
    can you take the social crap ut of the browser?
  • 0 Hide
    xpeh , November 21, 2012 9:54 PM
    makaveli316I was a big fan of firefox, but few days ago i just snapped after i bought my new ssd and i wanted to try Chrome one more time, cause i always thought it was overrated and with shitty customization.Until now i can't feel a big difference in speed while browsing, still think that is overrated the so called "difference in speed". I doubt we can feel the difference in milliseconds in real time usage.Anyway one huge difference is the start time. Chrome opens instantly and i mean instantly when i click it, while firefox always hangs a second and then starts. I tried fresh install, with and without add ons and still it hangs. Maybe after a fresh install it opens a lil bit faster, but still....I don't know why this happens, i bought a Samsung 830 256gb and i want speed, which Firefox doesn't give me.I never thought i will say that, but i like Chrome better.Firefox, what happened to you....



    More features happened
  • 0 Hide
    otacon72 , November 22, 2012 12:37 AM
    ...and it still crashes with Flash...LMAO... what a piece of sh*t.
  • -2 Hide
    maddad , November 22, 2012 3:19 AM
    My home built, average run of the mill PC which I never reboot or turn off unless Windows update requires a restart; never has a problem with FF. (I am using Windows 7 32 bit with 4 gigs of ram) No issues with Flash either. If you are having issues could be other software on your system mayby? I don't know, but no problems with FF here. Just upgraded to version 17. I only have 5 or 6 tabs open normally, so if you are opening a lot of tabs I don't know what that does to memory when using FF. I've never really understood the need to have 15-20 tabs open at one time.
  • 0 Hide
    wlachan , November 22, 2012 8:32 AM
    Still no fix on pop-up goes background by itself, and many buttons have to be double-clicked for any effect since FF15. Still lots of not responding freeze. I love FF but I am afraid I will depart soon since the ongoing problems have been ignored.
  • 0 Hide
    devBunny , November 23, 2012 12:27 AM
    Still rocking Firefox 9.2. Am I missing anything good - and I mean good? ;o)
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter