Now that Mozilla
has addressed the security flaw in Firefox 16
that prompted the developer to pull the build offline (it's now back online and ready for download), the focus has shifted to Firefox 17, which you can already snag via the beta channel. One of the things that's different with Firefox 17 is that it introduces preliminary support for its "Social API," which is a set of social features that will eventually lend itself to social networking integration right within the browser window.
"Much like the OpenSearch standard, the Social API enables developers to integrate social services into the browser in a way that is meaningful and helpful to users," Mozilla explains. "As services integrate with Firefox via the Social API sidebar, it will be easy for you to keep up with friends and family anywhere you go on the Web without having to open a new webpage or switch between tabs. You can stay connected to your favorite social network even while you are surfing the Web, watching a video or playing a game."
There's nothing to see related to the Social API in the beta build, but the code base is there, waiting to be utilized by third parties. Mozilla says it will begin testing the Social API soon, kicking it off with Facebook Messenger integration.
"The Social API will ultimately support multiple providers and has endless potential for integrating social networks, e-mail, finance, news and other applications into your Firefox experience," Mozilla added.
You can grab Firefox 17 for Windows or Android from the browser's beta channel