Mozilla Begins In-Browser Advertisement Testing for Firefox

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Mozilla Begins In-Browser Advertisement Testing for Firefox

Firefox 27 New Tab Square

If you're a new Firefox user, expect to see ads on the New Tab page in Firefox.

Remember a few months ago when Mozilla talked about paid/pre-determined content on the Firefox New Tab page? It's totally happening, folks!

Before you go all Yosemite Sam with your Uninstall Phaser, and burn our forums to the ground, take a moment...get some water, maybe read a Calvin and Hobbes strip or two.

Ready? Okay.

It sounds like this paid content strategy isn't particularly invasive, and it's aimed squarely at new Firefox users -- not veteran users who have plenty of content to fill their New Tab space already.

From the Mozilla Blog:

In the coming weeks, we'll be landing tests on our pre-release channels to see whether we can make things like the new tab page more useful, particularly for fresh installs of Firefox, where we don't yet have any recommendations to make from your history. We'll test a mix of our own sites and other useful sites on the Web. We'll mess with the layout. These tests are purely to understand what our users find helpful and what our users ignore or disable - these tests are not about revenue and none will be collected. Sponsorship would be the next stage once we are confident that we can deliver user value.

We'll experiment on Firefox across platforms, and we'll talk about what we learn before anything ships to our release users. And we'll keep listening for feedback and suggestions to make this work better for you. Because that's who we are at Mozilla.

Emphasis added. So yeah, some content that isn't from your history, but IS from Mozilla, will appear on New Tab pages that don't have user data to fill in tiles from. But it's not about the money -- yet -- and Mozilla seems pretty committed to being open about this process with its users.

And, frankly, if ads do end up on my New Tab page? So long as those ads aren't mining data from my devices or my preferences, and shooting said data into the cloud? I'm cool with what's next. Be patient, Internet, and temper that legendary emotion engine of yours.

Permalink

You can always click the x in the upper right of the new tab page and return it to a blissfully blank page too.

If I were a Firefox user I'd be more concerned with the fact their new CEO supported California's former gay marriage ban. Now there's some social commentary for all of you getting up in arms over Nintendo's gaff.

I was skeptical about this, and wondered where Mozilla were coming from with the idea since they are a not for profit company. But this sounds OK to be honest, i can live with this. I mean how often do you even pay attention to the new tab page? I usually right click and select open in new tab option anyhow.

evilnancyreagan:
If I were a Firefox user I'd be more concerned with the fact their new CEO supported California's former gay marriage ban. Now there's some social commentary for all of you getting up in arms over Nintendo's gaff.

Sorry to burst your bubble but he isn't the new CEO anymore https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2014/04/03/brendan-eich-steps-down-as-mozilla-ceo/
Besides he created java-script and help found Mozilla. Now I don't like his the fact he opposes gay marriage, but on a strictly professional level he did seem like the right choice. I mean the fact that Charlie Chaplin or Elvis Presley were basically paedophiles never seems to detract from their accomplishments.

I always hate the encroachment of advertisers but this is pretty tame. At first glance of the article title I thought it would be something like a permanent banner add maybe up beside the search bar or something, now that would be awful.

The way I see it there are 3 major advertising sins:

1. Adds that are overall obstructive
2. Adds trying to squeeze additional revenue on content you've already paid for
3. Adds that try to track you and your personal information for 'targeting' purposes

When you're getting something that's free and an add is fairly unobtrusive or at least only a short minor inconvenience, like a short commercial before an Escapist video, then there isn't really much ground to complain on.

I don't understand, why should mozilla have sponsoring, especially considering it being open source?
Not that I care, it's long been surpassed by it's competitors anyway, but if i were using firefox, I'd switch to a customized version immediately. There are enough ads in everyday life, don't want them in my virtual life too.

AWAR:
I don't understand, why should mozilla have sponsoring, especially considering it being open source?

Mozilla employs people to work on Firefox.

Good think I have new tab set to google

RandV80:
I always hate the encroachment of advertisers but this is pretty tame. At first glance of the article title I thought it would be something like a permanent banner add maybe up beside the search bar or something, now that would be awful.

The way I see it there are 3 major advertising sins:

1. Adds that are overall obstructive
2. Adds trying to squeeze additional revenue on content you've already paid for
3. Adds that try to track you and your personal information for 'targeting' purposes

When you're getting something that's free and an add is fairly unobtrusive or at least only a short minor inconvenience, like a short commercial before an Escapist video, then there isn't really much ground to complain on.

The worst ads for me are the videos that make noise the minute the load up and keep going unless you pause them

Devin Connors:

Before you go all Yosemite Sam with your Uninstall Phaser

Too late, I switched to a custom webkit a few weeks ago due to Firefox's terrible optimisation (esp with videos). Now they're introducing adverts I'll not even recommend it to friends looking to escape Internet Explorer.

Well good thing I stopped using Firefox.

God damn it Mozilla, fuck off with this bullshit!!

If this will turn out bad (and it always does with this sort of thing), at least there will be people who will mod this bullshit out, right?

Has anyone read the article or just looked at the headline?

AWAR:
I don't understand, why should mozilla have sponsoring, especially considering it being open source?
Not that I care, it's long been surpassed by it's competitors anyway, but if i were using firefox, I'd switch to a customized version immediately. There are enough ads in everyday life, don't want them in my virtual life too.

Who the hell uses the new tab page anyways? Typing a URL in the address bar or using the search bar automatically opens a new tab for me.

Nothing to see here...

I don't see this ending well, it's all well and good until they find out tame adverts don't pay the bills.

I might end up switching to Sea Monkey if they do end up going annoying, otherwise I'll just watch and wait.

I'm looking for a new browser anyway. Version 29 turned the interface from functional to tablet-awful. Everything has been changed to obnoxious square tiles. Thankfully I found a version 28 installer.

evilnancyreagan:
If I were a Firefox user I'd be more concerned with the fact their new CEO supported California's former gay marriage ban. Now there's some social commentary for all of you getting up in arms over Nintendo's gaff.

And? It is his right to fund and support what he believes in and it should have no bearing on if people use Firefox. Unless you can prove Firefox corporation themselves funded something you dislike what there employees do even there CEO in there free time is irrelevant to discussing if people should use its browser.

The7Sins:

evilnancyreagan:
If I were a Firefox user I'd be more concerned with the fact their new CEO supported California's former gay marriage ban. Now there's some social commentary for all of you getting up in arms over Nintendo's gaff.

And? It is his right to fund and support what he believes in and it should have no bearing on if people use Firefox. Unless you can prove Firefox corporation themselves funded something you dislike what there employees do even there CEO in there free time is irrelevant to discussing if people should use its browser.

And, again, the point is moot because Brendon Eich is no longer their CEO.

And, again, their CEO can do whatever he wants with his free time, and can give to whatever cause he feels like. But I will use MY freedom of speech (people often forget freedom of speech works both ways) to discourage people from using a product when the face of said company is a bigot.

Emphasizing again, that Mozilla no longer has said CEO as their CEO.

snowfi6916:

The7Sins:

evilnancyreagan:
If I were a Firefox user I'd be more concerned with the fact their new CEO supported California's former gay marriage ban. Now there's some social commentary for all of you getting up in arms over Nintendo's gaff.

And? It is his right to fund and support what he believes in and it should have no bearing on if people use Firefox. Unless you can prove Firefox corporation themselves funded something you dislike what there employees do even there CEO in there free time is irrelevant to discussing if people should use its browser.

And, again, the point is moot because Brendon Eich is no longer their CEO.

And, again, their CEO can do whatever he wants with his free time, and can give to whatever cause he feels like. But I will use MY freedom of speech (people often forget freedom of speech works both ways) to discourage people from using a product when the face of said company is a bigot.

Emphasizing again, that Mozilla no longer has said CEO as their CEO.

I assumed he was referring to a new Firefox CEO since in the post I quoted it said "New" CEO. I must have been wrong. Forgot about the Eich debacle.

Telling people not to support something because of an employee not the company supporting something IMO is dumb but is as you said your right of free speech to do such. What goes over the line is when people end up getting said CEO fired for things he did in his free time. That is not right.

But anyway we can drop this since I'll never agree with you, you'll never agree with me, and as said in sentence 1 this was brought up do to a miscommunication due to the wording in the post I quoted.

flarty:
Has anyone read the article or just looked at the headline?

who needs all that reading malarkey , lets all just rage about something semi-related

Eh, I already have enough user data so according to this I won't see any. And if it ads get to intrusive they'll probably be an addon to block it. Not that big of a deal.

Also weird how we've already derailed into Brandon Eich again.

The7Sins:

snowfi6916:

The7Sins:

And? It is his right to fund and support what he believes in and it should have no bearing on if people use Firefox. Unless you can prove Firefox corporation themselves funded something you dislike what there employees do even there CEO in there free time is irrelevant to discussing if people should use its browser.

And, again, the point is moot because Brendon Eich is no longer their CEO.

And, again, their CEO can do whatever he wants with his free time, and can give to whatever cause he feels like. But I will use MY freedom of speech (people often forget freedom of speech works both ways) to discourage people from using a product when the face of said company is a bigot.

Emphasizing again, that Mozilla no longer has said CEO as their CEO.

I assumed he was referring to a new Firefox CEO since in the post I quoted it said "New" CEO. I must have been wrong. Forgot about the Eich debacle.

Telling people not to support something because of an employee not the company supporting something IMO is dumb but is as you said your right of free speech to do such. What goes over the line is when people end up getting said CEO fired for things he did in his free time. That is not right.

But anyway we can drop this since I'll never agree with you, you'll never agree with me, and as said in sentence 1 this was brought up do to a miscommunication due to the wording in the post I quoted.

Eich wasn't fired. He stepped down on his own. And companies who want to protect their image have every right to fire someone who is tarnishing that image. If you showed up to work and called your boss an asshole, you would be fired. You wouldn't be able to claim "but, but, MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH". You still have it, but there are CONSEQUENCES for that freedom.

As Moviebob said, freedom of speech:

1) Does NOT guarantee you the right to be heard.
2) Does NOT guarantee you the right to be agreed with.
3) Does NOT mean that your speech can't be challenged by someone else's.
4) Does NOT mean you can't suffer consequences when your speech inflicts HARM ON PEOPLE. Eich donating to Prop 8 did EXACTLY THAT. Denying people basic rights.

But whatever. Like you said, you won't come around and I won't budge so why bother.

teqrevisited:
I'm looking for a new browser anyway. Version 29 turned the interface from functional to tablet-awful. Everything has been changed to obnoxious square tiles. Thankfully I found a version 28 installer.

I had the same experience with version 29 (no, Mozilla, I like having my tabs underneath the URL bar, so just leave them where the fuck I put them, thanks) and switched to Waterfox--it's basically the Firefox code recompiled for 64-bit processors, and it's still on version 28. As a bonus, it uses your existing Firefox profile, so you don't lose your addons or bookmarks.

There's no word on whether Waterfox will be implementing the godawful Australis interface from version 29, though, so you might want to go with Pale Moon. It's another fork of the Firefox code, but it's a little more radically altered (they've disabled features like parental controls, for instance) and the developer has basically sworn to never include Australis.

evilnancyreagan:
If I were a Firefox user I'd be more concerned with the fact their new CEO supported California's former gay marriage ban. Now there's some social commentary for all of you getting up in arms over Nintendo's gaff.

it's been done, the armchair social justice equality weekend warriors bullied the CEO for his own opinions.

you may feel free to edit this for actual thread value.

Valderis:
God damn it Mozilla, fuck off with this bullshit!!

If this will turn out bad (and it always does with this sort of thing), at least there will be people who will mod this bullshit out, right?

you realize this only shows up on the "new tab"..... tab...... right?

where it gives you suggestions based on your previous internet history?

the one where only people who have no idea what they are doing will use because it's too hard to type in something on the url bar.

the one that, by now if you are a avid Firefox user, is filled with various forum and youtube pins which will not be affected by the ads since that space is already filled just like it said in the article.

Since I'm not an idiot and dont have to use "New Tab" to remember what I should look at, this wont affect me.

Kalezian:

you realize this only shows up on the "new tab"..... tab...... right?

where it gives you suggestions based on your previous internet history?

the one where only people who have no idea what they are doing will use because it's too hard to type in something on the url bar.

the one that, by now if you are a avid Firefox user, is filled with various forum and youtube pins which will not be affected by the ads since that space is already filled just like it said in the article.

Since I'm not an idiot and dont have to use "New Tab" to remember what I should look at, this wont affect me.

You mean, not yet. It's only a matter of time before its ads for everyone.

Valderis:

Kalezian:

you realize this only shows up on the "new tab"..... tab...... right?

where it gives you suggestions based on your previous internet history?

the one where only people who have no idea what they are doing will use because it's too hard to type in something on the url bar.

the one that, by now if you are a avid Firefox user, is filled with various forum and youtube pins which will not be affected by the ads since that space is already filled just like it said in the article.

Since I'm not an idiot and dont have to use "New Tab" to remember what I should look at, this wont affect me.

You mean, not yet. It's only a matter of time before its ads for everyone.

This is my mentality. They have taken the first step and now it is only a matter of time before someone takes the next mile.

I just switched back to Firefox from Chrome and I hate Firefox 29. The refresh button can't be moved, the back button acts funny sometimes (going back more than one page) and now this. I didn't switch back because I hate Chrome, I just wanted a change and I have no problem going back to Chrome.

I trust Mozilla more than Google at this point, especially after reading about the Gmail UI redesign. I hope they reconsider and drop the idea though - building an ad-free internet has to be the priority, not a fall-back option.

Buzz Killington:
SNIP

Thanks for the suggestions (I know they weren't aimed at me, but still). I've been looking for aan alternative for a while since I don't like a lot of the changes being made. Honestly, this one seems less bad than it could have been, but I don't really want to be using FireFox for a number of reasons. However, I don't like Chrome or IE and the number of Firefox based browsers is overwhelming.

This is all very well and good...but when can I get paid for recommending random shit to people? Cos im sure i do it all the time for free, whereas i should be charging top dolla for such insightful, guiding words.

My New Tabs are always blank, so I'm not sure what exactly is going to change.

As long as the ads can be clicked away and don't mine any personal data from my PC, I'm okay with them. I'd be happier if Mozilla hadn't taken this route at all, but it is what it is and it ain't going anywhere.

WeepingAngels:
I just switched back to Firefox from Chrome and I hate Firefox 29. The refresh button can't be moved, the back button acts funny sometimes (going back more than one page) and now this. I didn't switch back because I hate Chrome, I just wanted a change and I have no problem going back to Chrome.

I updated my Firefox to v29 yesterday, and I instantly hated it aside from the fact that it seems a lot speedier on my system than the older version.

Please don't go back to Chrome. Use this add-on instead -- it restores the UI functionality of the previous build. Much more tolerable than the nasty look of v29.

Oh thank god, when I read the title I was beginning to panic. Fortunately I just have to deal with the stupid new redesign of the top bit of the browser window, which I can live with. Oh, but I am planning on getting a new laptop later this year so I'll probably have to deal with it then. Crap.

KungFuJazzHands:
As long as the ads can be clicked away and don't mine any personal data from my PC, I'm okay with them. I'd be happier if Mozilla hadn't taken this route at all, but it is what it is and it ain't going anywhere.

WeepingAngels:
I just switched back to Firefox from Chrome and I hate Firefox 29. The refresh button can't be moved, the back button acts funny sometimes (going back more than one page) and now this. I didn't switch back because I hate Chrome, I just wanted a change and I have no problem going back to Chrome.

I updated my Firefox to v29 yesterday, and I instantly hated it aside from the fact that it seems a lot speedier on my system than the older version.

Please don't go back to Chrome. Use this add-on instead -- it restores the UI functionality of the previous build. Much more tolerable than the nasty look of v29.

To me it doesn't seem much like an advertisement but rather more of a sponsorship. I wouldn't expect to see any Doritos or Coke or Spiderman, but rather it will be links to popular websites that can get new users started.

Also thanks for the UI add-on, that's much better!

evilnancyreagan:
If I were a Firefox user I'd be more concerned with the fact their new CEO supported California's former gay marriage ban. Now there's some social commentary for all of you getting up in arms over Nintendo's gaff.

Holy shit. You're extremely late to the party on that.

Also, "new" CEO? Umm, what?

KungFuJazzHands:
As long as the ads can be clicked away and don't mine any personal data from my PC, I'm okay with them. I'd be happier if Mozilla hadn't taken this route at all, but it is what it is and it ain't going anywhere.

WeepingAngels:
I just switched back to Firefox from Chrome and I hate Firefox 29. The refresh button can't be moved, the back button acts funny sometimes (going back more than one page) and now this. I didn't switch back because I hate Chrome, I just wanted a change and I have no problem going back to Chrome.

I updated my Firefox to v29 yesterday, and I instantly hated it aside from the fact that it seems a lot speedier on my system than the older version.

Please don't go back to Chrome. Use this add-on instead -- it restores the UI functionality of the previous build. Much more tolerable than the nasty look of v29.

Installed the add on, thanks.

Why not go back to Chrome though? Is there something I should know about Chrome?

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