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New Facebook browser plug-in keeps you constantly connected

Do you always have a Facebook tab open? This plug-in for Firefox might save you valuable browser space. You can get your notifications and chat without ever actually opening the Facebook website.

Mozilla, creators of the popular Web browser Firefox, have been working on integrating more social features into the browser itself, rather than letting them sit inside Web apps and tabs. The first official product of this effort is the Facebook Messenger plug-in, which adds chat, notifications, and your activity feed into the normal interface of your browser.

People who like to stay logged into Facebook throughout the day will appreciate not having to keep an extra tab open, although power users may regret having to surrender permanent space on their screen for social functions.

The "Social API," of which this plug-in is just a part, could lead to many more types of permanent social add-ons. Collaboration in a work chatroom or monitoring of your Twitter feed could be possible, or the sidebar could recommend the page you're on to friends.

Privacy-minded folks will probably prefer to keep their social connections bottled up inside the Facebook website, but more social types can test out the plug-in here.

Facebook users will also be glad to know that an update to the iOS app has been approved, adding an improved photo upload process and a few other features. Check out the changes and get the update in the Apple App Store.

Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.