Mozilla, the company known for its Firefox browser is planning to a launch a new feature called as ‘Directory Tiles’ which will display relevant and useful websites to the user on the New Tab page. Simply put, this not for profit company will display Ads on the New Tab page of the browser when the user first installs/ reinstalls Firefox.
However, the feature is not as bad as it sounds. According to the company, Directory Tiles won’t be based on the user’s browsing history or preferences. In fact, Mozilla plans to display sponsored websites based on the user’s place of residence and Mozilla’s ecosystem. Further, over the course of time, as the user browses the web, these sponsored websites will be replaced by more frequent ones. So, after around a month of using Firefox, these sponsored websites will go away.
One thing to note here is that, these websites will only be shown on blank New Tabs page. Hence, only the users who have reinstalled the browser or are using it for the first time will ever see these Ads. Also, according to the company, these Ads will not only generate revenue for the company, but also add value to the overall browsing experience of the user.
“We looked at it from the perspective of how much value are we bringing to the user? We’re not focused on bringing the most revenue into Mozilla,” said Denelle Dixon-Thayer, the head of the business affairs group of Mozilla.
The initiative was revealed at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Meet held at Palm Desert in California. The company would first roll out this feature to the desktop browser versions of Firefox and would later on roll out to its mobile operating system, Firefox OS and Firefox for mobile versions. But the exact date of release of this feature is not yet known. It may happen as soon as the next update or may even take a few weeks to come to Firefox.
While many Firefox users may feel disappointed with the news, one should keep in mind that Ads will not change the web browsing experience of the user. These sponsored websites will only be seen on new installations, which will vanish after a certain amount of usage. Therefore, users can be assured of the same Firefox experience as before. Also, some users may find these Ads relevant to their interests and hence, it may actually help them to browse websites which are interesting.
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