After delivering bad news in form of two Firefox feature deprecations -- Tab Groups and Full Theme support will be removed from Firefox -- Mozilla is also working on removing Pocket's native code from Firefox to make it a system add-on instead.
Mozilla made quite a few controversial moves in past years, and if you ask Firefox users, you probably find the native integration of Pocket up there at the top next to launching the Australis interface or the end of NPAPI plugin support.
Critics of Pocket's native integration in Firefox had two major issues with the implementation. First, that Pocket was a proprietary solution, and second, that it felt unjustified to bring it to all users of the browser in form of native code instead of an add-on as most users would not be making use of it.
A Bugzilla listing confirms that Mozilla plans to move Pocket to a built-in add-on. While that is not the same as an add-on that Firefox users can install from Mozilla's AMO website, it is a step in the right direction.
Featured or built-in add-ons are distributed with the browser. Mozilla announced that it would utilize Firefox's add-on system to test and deploy new features in the browser instead of making them part of the browser right away, and that it would also use it to turn built-in features into add-ons as well.
These add-ons differ from regular add-ons in several ways. The two core differences are that they cannot be uninstalled from within the browser, and that they are placed in the Firefox system directory and not the user profile directory.
They can be disabled on the other hand. It is unclear right now if it is possible to delete them in the Firefox system directory to remove them completely. This needs to be tested once the first system add-on is released by Mozilla.
It seems likely however that Firefox users will be able to remove system add-ons from the browser by removing them from the system directory as they likely use the same method that system-wide installed add-ons used in the past.
We will take a close look at the implementation once the first built-in add-on rolls out with Firefox and let you know what your options are in this regard.
Some critics would obviously want Pocket to become a standalone add-on instead for the Firefox browser which would mean that users interested in it could install it why all others would not be bothered by it at all.
Now You: What's your take on the change?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.