Facebook Messenger for Firefox is here, providing browser integration with the ever popular SNS through clever use of a sidebar. What that means is that Firefox users can now chat with friends – right from the browser – without having to open a separate tab and keep switching to it whenever someone sends them a chat message.
Social integration in the browser has been in the beta testing phase for quite some time now (Mozilla announced it towards the end of October on its official blog) and Facebook is apparently the first to have jumped at the availability of Mozilla’s Social API. There’s not much information on the Facebook page but the Mozilla support page is pretty helpful.
The feature makes it easier and more convenient to stay connected while browsing the web. Besides allowing fans of the site to chat with friends, it also lets users to take a quick look at their notifications, friend requests and messages. And users will even be able to play videos, like, comment and share things if the ticker is active on their Facebook account.
Facebook Messenger for Firefox manifests as a collection of four buttons added to the right end of the navigation toolbar. The first of these is the Facebook button which allows users access to their profiles on the SNS. It even lets users show or hide the sidebar as well as turn desktop notifications on and off. The other three pertain to notifications, friend requests and messages.
As the image above indicates, in order to send a message and initiate a conversation, a click on a friend’s name in the chat section of the sidebar is all that’s required. Messages sent are automatically added to ongoing conversations on Facebook.
To get the feature up and running, users must first get themselves the latest version of the browser, and then click the green button that says “Turn On,” which can be found here. And if a little peace is of essence while working, users can also log out of chat by going to the tiny gear menu at the bottom right of the screen.
The same Facebook privacy settings apply when using the browser-integrated messenger. And of course, and this goes without saying, the integrated messenger can also be temporarily or permanently disabled, if that’s what users want.
With Facebook Messenger for Firefox out there, it shouldn’t be long before others take advantage of the service, and we might even see the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Flikr and the rest getting their own; sidebar, your honor!