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I just started using web app integration for facebook and gmail. The apps work only when gmail/facebook is open in Firefox. What's the point if it only works when the website is already open?

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That's how it's intended to work.

If you don't like Facebook and Gmail taking up space in Firefox's tab bar, I recommend right-clicking on the tab and choosing "Pin as App Tab". This will make the tab turn into a small icon, which can't be closed while Firefox is open. It's very useful for tabs you want to have open all the time.

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