From Mike Arrington at TechCrunch comes news that the next version of Firefox will include social networking features — features that are described in more detail at the Mozilla labs website. The new features, which for some reason are called The Coop, have their own project page here.
As Mike points out, this is going to make things kind of sticky for Flock, the privately-funded browser built on the Mozilla framework. In effect, it sounds like the Firefox team is planning to build some or all of what Flock has done — sharing of photos, blogging, etc. — into the existing Mozilla browser, although there are differences (The Coop seems aimed at sharing rather than creating blog posts from within the browser, for example). Does this mean that Flock is fucked again, as my friend Paul Kedrosky put it back in late 2005 when Performancing added a blogging plugin? Not necessarily. In many ways, the social features almost seem like competition for del.icio.us rather than what Flock does.
Allan Stern of CenterNetworks says this kind of thing is a good illustration of why it`s not advisable to build your product entirely on someone else`s technology, which is a fair point. But I for one hope Flock and Firefox both continue to exist and become stronger and add new features. Like Mark Evans, I think the more competition the better.