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Week 36: Browsers as Aggregators aka Can Firefox replace Facebook?

Aleksey Gurtovoy (@agurtovoy) · August 9, 2018 at 11:00pm

Week 36: Browsers as Aggregators aka Can Firefox replace Facebook?

August 9, 2018 at 11:00pm (Edited 8 months ago)

This Firefox test pilot experiment resurfaced a bunch of interesting questions I was itching to talk about for a while, so I thought we might as well: https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/07/firefox-advance-recommends-articles/


August 9, 2018 at 11:01pm
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The three characteristics are:

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That whole post is very worth reading in full, but hopefully the above gives you an idea of where I'm coming from with this ridiculous proposition of a browser taking on a social network.

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Addressing the above point-by-point, (1) no one has a more direct relationship with an internet user than a browser vendor (2) the browser's main job is literally delivering (other people's) goods over the internet and (3) I'd argue that there is no good reason why browser should be an extension of a "dumb pipe" rather than an intelligent guide to everything you want to do on the internet.

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Out of these three, the last point is probably the most debatable.

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Presumably the browser vendors largely stayed out of aggregation business in order to maintain the image of neutrality to amass the largest possible audience.

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But at the same time, one of the main reasons for the original Firefox popularity was its plugin ecosystem.

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People clearly want they browser to be smarter.

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Opera is one of the browser vendors who recognized this and tried to capitalize on it (beyond providing an extensions API)

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Including things like integrated messengers: https://www.opera.com/computer/features/messenger

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People clearly want they browser to be smarter.

Smarter? Or more feature filled? I think right now it's the battle for speed. https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/11/14/introducing-firefox-quantum/

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Opera is one of the browser vendors who recognized this and tried to capitalize on it (beyond providing an extensions API)

TBH, I forgot out Opera. My default is Chrome but they highlight physical products instead of updating the browser itself. What I mean is, Firefox isn't coming out with a chomestick.

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Smarter? Or more feature filled? I think right now it's the battle for speed. https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2017/11/14/introducing-firefox-quantum/

Speed is the common denominator. If your browser is slow, forget about everything else. But once your speed on par, I'd argue that a smarter browser will win.

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Actually, this chat feature alone almost made me download Opera to try it out. Chat apps are a personal pain point for me.

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I think Firefox with their focus on privacy is in a good place to take on functionality that has traditionally been kept out of browser.

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Like chatting with your friends or curating a personal feed.

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Or paying publishers behind the scene: https://brave.com/publishers/

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...without selling out your personal data.

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