Firefox now comes with its own instant messenger

Firefox logo
Firefox now has IM capabilities.

The latest update for Firefox for desktops, version 41, comes with an integrated instant messenger based around Firefox Hello, the video calling technology it unveiled last year.

"Firefox Hello Beta, developed with our partner Telefónica, is the global communications system built directly into a browser and it will now let you send and receive instant messages when you're in a video call in Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux," explains Mozilla.

The new feature is launched in the same way as the existing Hello video calling functionality: just click on the smiley face speech bubble emoticon on the toolbar. The difference is you can now type out your communications at the same time as making video calls.

Hello Firefox

As before, you can sign up for a Hello account, but you don't have to - you can just chat anonymously with someone else by sharing a link with them. As long as they're using Firefox, you're good to go. Support for Firefox on Android is apparently coming soon.

Also new is the ability to set a profile photo through the desktop browser so your contacts get a better idea of who they're communicating with. A bunch of minor updates and bug fixes are included too.

If you want to try out Firefox's new IM capabilities, the update should roll out automatically - if you don't already have the browser installed or you're just impatient, you can also download it directly from the Mozilla website.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.