Mozilla Enters Social Networking with 'The Coop'

Dennis Faas's picture

Most of Mozilla's efforts have seemed to center around beefing up its Firefox browser. However, Mozilla now plans to enter a new realm by releasing a social networking project -- a Firefox plugin called the Coop.

The Coop will allow users to add friends directly to Firefox, and share information directly through the browser instead of via email. In essence, Mozilla is aiming to make interaction more direct. (Source:

On the Coop's project page, Mozilla describes how the Coop will work. The page explains that the Coop 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." (Source:

The page goes on to describe that the screen will display friends' faces. Users simply click on a friend's face to see a list of that person's recently added Flickr photos, blog posts, updated Facebook status and tagged YouTube videos and websites. Further, users can share information with friends simply by dragging that item onto their friend's face. When a user receives something from a friend, that friend's face will glow. (Source:

Why "Coop?" Apparently, the pictures of friends' faces are similar to a chicken coop -- each friend's picture would designate the space where he or she "lives." (Source:

Currently, the project is still in a "proof of concept" phase. However, Mozilla has planned many features and has even released a prototype of a screenshot on their website. (Source:

Although some may think that the Coop is a surefire hit, others are not quite as convinced. While sending information via the Coop will trump using email, it has other social networks to compete with. Websites like Facebook and MySpace, along with programs like MSN Messenger, already offer users the ability to share information and communicate in real time. This isn't to say that the Mozilla's project will flop -- but it will need to differentiate itself if it wants to keep enough users cooped up in the service. (Source:

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