Mobile marketing
Firefox 8, which is now available for download, includes a Twitter search tool built into the browser inside a drop down menu for search.

This may seem a minor upgrade in a new browser version which also isn’t a major upgrade, but for Twitter users the search facilities within Twitter have long been a subject of discussion and ire. Applications have sprung up across the entire cyberworld to try to redeem Twitter’s major failing – searching #hashtags, @usernames and Tweet histories. In fact, there are so many of them that inputting “Search twitter app” into Google may keep you busy for several weeks or more trying them all out.

Being able to search Twitter is a canny move on Firefox’s part after Google dropped real time search from its engine just prior to launching Google+ earlier this summer. Whilst others have stepped in to add functionality by different apps, building it into the browser was an obvious move, and Firefox the most likely opponent in the browser wars to capitalise on Google’s elimination of the feature.

For journalists, news junkies, and the Twitterati, this simple drop down choice may see yet further users running multiple browsers at once simply to get to the information they need when they require it. It is likely that Google will re-introduce a replacement for real time search sooner rather than later following Firefox 8’s release; however, one wonders how Twitter feel about letting Google play again after removing the facility, seemingly with little to no warning.

The removal of third party add-ons and a new feature that checks your existing add-ons for compatability when updating means that you may find that some of the addons and plug ins you had become reliant on are no longer available in Firefox 8 until they are compliant. Whilst this is not a bad thing per se, it is likely that many of us will simply find alternatives for tools we had been using in order to get back to our previous capabilities as quickly as possible. One of the add-ons disabled is Google Toolbar for Firefox so it will be interesting to see how quickly this is brought up to date!

(Much of the SEOmoz toolbar etc also seems to need updating, and I for one will seriously miss that until it is back, so if you use these sort of tools regularly, you might want to hold off the update for a few days/weeks until everyone catches up. Greasemonkey etc all seem fine though….).

Interestingly, whilst doing the upgrade, the first windows that opened after the details of which add ons would be disabled and enabled, were a series of crash reports. Which doesn’t bode exactly well! I shall report back once resolved…..

The full options available in Firefox 8 can be found on the Mozilla blog, and if you are a (website) developer, you will be interested in this list of all the new attributes etc that Firefox 8 supports.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology