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Built-In Advertising is Coming to Firefox

| 12 Feb 2014 14:20

Mozilla wants to add sponsored, packaged content to Firefox's tiled home screen.

Firefox 27 New Tab Square

Mozilla's Firefox web browser, now in version 27, is in the top three web browsers in any market share breakdown you'll find online. It typically sits at number three, behind Google Chrome and Microsoft's Internet Explorer, with a share hovering around 20 percent, give or take.

So it's kind of a big deal when Mozilla announces a new Directory Tiles program, which will see the default Firefox home tab populated with content advertisements.

"Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users," said Darren Herman, Mozilla's VP of Content Services. "Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla's pursuit of our mission."

Emphasis added. Firefox will still go to your homepage when opened, but every blank tab opened thereafter will display some sort of sponsored content. It's unclear how these advertisements will affect the blank tabs after tiles are populated with your most visited sites. Right now, my tile screen is populated by Facebook, Bank of America, ESPN, Google, and the like -- will some of these tiles be replaced by ads? Or will the ads be pushed out once you have nine frequently visited sites?

Herman does go on to say that sponsored content, "...will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy."

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