Mozilla Labs says it's working on building social networking technology into its browsers.
Think MySpace meets Firefox. For the effort, called "The Coop," Mozilla says it will "let users keep track of what their friends are doing online, and share new and interesting content with one or more of those friends. It will integrate with popular web services, using their existing data feeds as a transport mechanism."
Here's what Mozilla had to say about The Coop on its Wiki:
Users will see their friends' faces, and by clicking on them will be able to get a list of that person's recently added Flickr photos, favorite YouTube videos, tagged websites, composed blog posts, updated Facebook status, etc. If a user wants to share something with a friend, they simply drag that thing onto their friend's face. When they receive something from a friend, that friend's face glows to get the user's attention.
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 del.icio.us, 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.
Here's a mockup posted by Mike Beltzner on the Mozilla Labs blog.
The Coop is an excellent idea that's probably way overdue. Another interesting thread will be how this works for big social networking sites that depend on page view growth like MySpace. If I can track all my social contacts in my browser will I visit MySpace? I'm not a MySpace user so just raising the question.
As for the implementation of The Coop, Mozilla's Wiki notes it plans on using RSS subscriptions as a transport mechanism. To make it look pretty though Mozilla notes "it will be up to us to cleverly mask."
The first release sounds like it'll be bare bones, but you can see the potential.