Is FireFox Socially Acceptable?

    April 4, 2007

Would you want to have social networking features built into whatever browser you use? That’s what Mozilla Labs is hoping as they are adding social networking features into the FireFox browser.

Is FireFox Socially Acceptable?
Is FireFox Socially Acceptable?
Is FireFox Socially Acceptable?

Called "The Coop", the add- on will allow users to connect with their friends online and share Web content.

On their project page they describe the reason behind The Coop. "Perhaps the most common social interaction on the web today is sending someone a link. It’s done over IM, email, weblogs, RSS feeds from aggregator sites, bookmark sharing sites like, social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace, and even over the phone."

"The desire is the same: ‘hey, friend, go check out this neat thing and then let’s talk about it!’

"The goal of The Coop is to ease this interaction, and merge it with similar tools provided by a large number of popular web services."

 The design of The Coop will have boxes where a user’s friend will "live". An avatar will represent the friends. Icons will display new content and the box will glow if a friend has sent new content to a user.

Not everyone is excited about The Coop. In a forum post Jay wrote, "This looks enormously obnoxious. I will switch to IE if Mozilla makes this a standard part of new releases. Keep it an add-on and let the socially-over-networked use it and keep the rest of us happy."

Other criticism included this post from Justin Thorp who wrote," What’s the value add to me as the user to recreate my social network within my browser? I don’t get what this gives me that I don’t already have with something like Facebook. Could this play with the Facebook API so we’re not completely recreating the wheel?"

For fans of social networking, The Coop will be a useful feature. For those that just want a functional browser, it will be a turn- off.