I’ve written a number of times over the past year about what’s likely to happen once location is an integral part of the browser experience: customizable sites, better ad targeting, use of demographic data based on neighborhood for online ad targeting and so on.
This week Firefox 3.5 comes out with location as an integral part of the experience. Users must opt-in and affirmatively share location, but its a huge step forward. Chrome and Opera offer something similar. And Safari includes location in its iPhone version.
Firefox is using Skyhook’s technology to ascertain user location. It had previously enabled this feature in a plug-in called “Geode.” Across the board the user experience (around location opt-in) is still a little clunky on these browsers but it’s here and will become more streamlined over time. This is a big big deal.