Social Media in your browser?

One of the things that’s shocked me on a somewhat personal level is the direction that newer browsers are going in terms of embracing a brand.

Yesterday I admitted that I was trying out IE9 RC and shared some of my personal feelings on the browser from a ‘day one’ perspective.

Today I discovered Microsoft’s take on ‘web apps’ in IE9. This is where a web page is run in the same way as a separate application. If you’ve used Chrome’s “Create application shortcut” option, this is similar, but instead of removing elements like the address bar and navigation buttons, IE9 has enabled added functionality in the right click menu:
IE9 Social Media Extensions

This is indeed very similar to a screen shot of FireFox 5’s interface:
FF5 Social Media Extensions

But it begs the question of how custom this feature is and who has access to it. If anyone can drive this menu system, then I fully embrace it with nerdy affections. If it’s some one-off coding to appease the biggest players on the web, then I couldn’t be more disappointed.

If this was happening years ago, say a site like MySpace was built into your browser, and an upstart like Facebook came along, what do you think the chances are of Facebook having the same success as it has?

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