Mozilla Labs Introduces Snowl

Messaging has become one of the most popular online activities, thanks to all the online and desktop applications which enable it. Keeping this in mind, Mozilla Labs have come up with an interesting new concept of integrating all these messaging services in your favourite browser.

You no longer will have to wait for popup notifications to see who have messaged you. Mozilla Labs has introduced an experimental plugin for Firefox called Snowl that can change the way you browse the Web and participate in discussions from your web browser.

Snowl logoSnowl brings in messages from various sources like Twitter, RSS feeds and instant messengers to your browser. This prototype extension is based on the following key points as given by Mozilla Labs:

  1. It doesn’t matter where messages originate. They’re alike, whether they come from traditional email servers, RSS/Atom feeds, web discussion forums, social networks, or other sources.
  2. Some messages are more important than others, and the best interface for actively reading important messages is different from the best one for casually browsing unimportant ones.
  3. A search-based interface for message retrieval is more powerful and easier to use than one that makes you organize your messages first to find them later.
  4. Browser functionality for navigating web content, like tabs, bookmarks, and history, also works well for navigating messages.

Currently, the initial prototype supports two sources of messages: RSS/Atom feeds and Twitter.  And it exposes two interfaces for reading them. According to various sources, IM support for AIM and Google Talk, and Facebook chat will be added in the future updates, but first the development team wants to see if people show some real interest in this project.

As this project is in development, Mozilla is looking forward to feedback from everyone which would help them improve. If you have a small 15-inch monitor with 1024 x 768 display, then this plugin is not suitable for you as Snowl will take most of the place.

This extension is currently available for testing puposes only and can be download from here.

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