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4/6/2007
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Mozilla Labs Adds Social Networking Features To Firefox

Content sharing tools let people keep track of their friends and all their related pictures, blogs, and other information.

Web browsing trespassed onto MySpace last week as Mozilla Labs rolled out The Coop, an experimental set of content-sharing tools for Firefox users.

"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," a blog post from the Mozilla research group explains. The Coop also will make it easy to "subscribe" to friends in order to keep track of the pictures, movies, blogs, and information they're posting on a variety of services, the blog says.


Read it, share it, blog about it
(click image for larger view)


Read it, share it, blog about it
The most common social interaction on the Web is sending someone a link over instant messaging, e-mail, Weblogs, RSS feeds from aggregator sites, bookmark sharing sites like del.icio.us, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, and even over the phone, Mozilla says on its wiki. Regardless of the vehicle used, Mozilla says, "the desire is the same: 'Hey, friend, go check out this neat thing and then let's talk about it!'" The Coop's goal, Mozilla adds, is to ease this interaction and merge it with similar tools provided by a large number of popular Web services.

Mozilla Labs isn't the first to add this capability to its browser. Flock has been updating its Flock social Web browser for more than a year with collaboration and sharing features. The current beta version is for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

But these features aren't popping up just in social networks; they're everywhere, from enterprise portals to desktop operating systems. It's hard to find a company, particularly among Web 2.0-style startups, that's not trying to make its software more social.

Firefox users who have established free accounts at Mozilla.org can sign in, edit their preferences to include "sandbox" extensions, and download a prototype of the social networking add-on.

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