Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Mozilla Announces Plans to Play Ads in Firefox Browser

By - Source: Mozilla | B 34 comments

Mozilla today announced plans to put ads inside its Firefox browser. If you're already a Firefox user, you likely won't see any at all.

Mozilla this week announced that it will launch a program called 'Directory Tiles' that will fill those tiles on a new tab with sponsored content. Don't worry, though. If you're a frequent Tom's Hardware visitor, this doesn't mean your Tom's tile is going to be pushed out of the way in favor of an ad. Instead, this program will only affect new users.

"[New users'] tiles – those nine rectangles that populate over time with the most frequent and recent websites they visit – are empty.  The new tab page isn't delivering any value for them," Mozilla's Darren Herman explained. "Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users. 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. The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy."

Mozilla says Directory Tiles carries 'inherent value' for users and helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable. That said, it's possible some users will see this as black and white as a once ad-free product displaying ads. After all, it's hard not to play the 'what if' game when a company makes a move like this. What if targeting new users is no longer enough? What if, down the road, Mozilla decides to reduce the number of user-generated tiles to six and save the last row for ads?

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Display 34 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 2 Hide
    boogalooelectric , February 12, 2014 12:25 PM
    Looks like its time to switch browsers again. Dammit!
  • 4 Hide
    Jake Hall , February 12, 2014 12:34 PM
    STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 Hide
    voltagetoe , February 12, 2014 12:38 PM
    Going down as a real business. Take a few pennies while you can !!
  • 5 Hide
    vittau , February 12, 2014 12:55 PM
    Quote:
    Looks like its time to switch browsers again. Dammit!
    Did you even read the text?!Only new users will see it, and only until their tiles aren't filled with their own content. Absolutely zero problems with this.
  • -1 Hide
    maxiim , February 12, 2014 12:58 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Looks like its time to switch browsers again. Dammit!
    Did you even read the text?!Only new users will see it, and only until their tiles aren't filled with their own content. Absolutely zero problems with this.
    Unless you're the kind of user, who has firefox clear history on close. At which point you see those ads on new tabs....all the time.
  • 2 Hide
    velocityg4 , February 12, 2014 1:02 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Looks like its time to switch browsers again. Dammit!
    Did you even read the text?!Only new users will see it, and only until their tiles aren't filled with their own content. Absolutely zero problems with this.
    Unless you're the kind of user, who has firefox clear history on close. At which point you see those ads on new tabs....all the time.
    In which case set the new tab page to blank. Which I do anyways for speed and not wanting my new tab page showing previews of porn. ;) 

    I don't even know how often I even see the new tab page. I hardly ever open one then navigate to a site. If I want to see something in a new tab I right click and open in a new tab. For searches I have configured the search bar in about:config to create a new tab when searching automatically. That way I can research something I am reading about more efficiently.

    With about:config you'll be able to disable it anyways. I'm sure some add-on will also block it.
  • 0 Hide
    Onihikage , February 12, 2014 1:13 PM
    Did anyone here actually read what they're doing? New users with no web history have nothing to fill up those boxes in the New Tab page, so Mozilla is just going to let some ads be put in empty boxes. It's no big deal, doesn't get in anyone's way, and actually makes a good bit of sense.
  • 4 Hide
    boogalooelectric , February 12, 2014 1:13 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Looks like its time to switch browsers again. Dammit!
    Did you even read the text?!Only new users will see it, and only until their tiles aren't filled with their own content. Absolutely zero problems with this.
    I still do not like it. Nor am I thrilled with firefox lately. I AM entitled to my own opinion.
  • 3 Hide
    Onihikage , February 12, 2014 1:14 PM
    If you don't like it, set the New Tab page to about:blank.
  • 1 Hide
    maxiim , February 12, 2014 1:15 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Looks like its time to switch browsers again. Dammit!
    Did you even read the text?!Only new users will see it, and only until their tiles aren't filled with their own content. Absolutely zero problems with this.
    Unless you're the kind of user, who has firefox clear history on close. At which point you see those ads on new tabs....all the time.
    In which case set the new tab page to blank. Which I do anyways for speed and not wanting my new tab page showing previews of porn. ;) 

    I don't even know how often I even see the new tab page. I hardly ever open one then navigate to a site. If I want to see something in a new tab I right click and open in a new tab. For searches I have configured the search bar in about:config to create a new tab when searching automatically. That way I can research something I am reading about more efficiently.

    With about:config you'll be able to disable it anyways. I'm sure some add-on will also block it.


    These things might no pertain to us(hardware/pc enthusiast, or tech savy people in general) exactly, but you have to remember that people that know how to setup their browser like that are in the minority of the browser user population.
  • 13 Hide
    quangluu96 , February 12, 2014 2:04 PM
    Ad block to the rescue
  • 0 Hide
    qlum , February 12, 2014 2:14 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Looks like its time to switch browsers again. Dammit!
    Did you even read the text?!Only new users will see it, and only until their tiles aren't filled with their own content. Absolutely zero problems with this.
    Unless you're the kind of user, who has firefox clear history on close. At which point you see those ads on new tabs....all the time.

    Unless you get an add on to display something else, or maybe move to a firefox fork because that's what you can do on open source stuff. Just like ad block plus got a fork or two after it started allowing some ads and used that to extort sites to pass through the filters.

    Sure this is a lot less draconic tthen that but there are already a few firefox forks which may not adopt this stuff at all.
  • 3 Hide
    Tomas650 , February 12, 2014 2:20 PM
    Ad's being suggested when you first open up a new tab, this can't be. Everyone grab your pitchforks and torches. We must all riot about this. Seriously why is this such a big deal, they go away once you visit enough websites to fill that space up....
  • 1 Hide
    SchizoFrog , February 12, 2014 2:56 PM
    Personally I never see the 'tiles' anyway as I set my homepage to 'google.co.uk' and then use 'New Tab Homepage' ad on as soon as I install Firefox.
  • -2 Hide
    loosescrews , February 12, 2014 3:11 PM
    Other browsers do this too. Opera for example comes by default with some sponsored links on its speed dial page which is the equivalent to what Mozilla is doing here.
  • 1 Hide
    nonoitall , February 12, 2014 3:22 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Did you even read the text?!Only new users will see it, and only until their tiles aren't filled with their own content. Absolutely zero problems with this.
    Unless you're the kind of user, who has firefox clear history on close. At which point you see those ads on new tabs....all the time.
    And? If you clear history each time Firefox closes, it doesn't sound like the new tab page was much use to you anyway. As far as your usage is concerned, they're replacing one useless page with another. Only the new one makes them a little revenue so at least it's not *completely* useless.
  • 0 Hide
    tolham , February 12, 2014 3:57 PM
    and thus the NSA's backdoor is born.
  • 4 Hide
    sykozis , February 12, 2014 3:58 PM
    The new one makes them a little revenue, and increases the risk of infection.....yep, always a good idea to intentionally risk the security of your users' computers....
  • 4 Hide
    hoofhearted , February 12, 2014 4:00 PM
    I pay for my internet connection. I do not want any of my hard-earned bandwidth wasted on these ads. If I cannot disable this behavior, then bye bye firefox.
  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , February 12, 2014 4:23 PM
    Quote:
    Did anyone here actually read what they're doing? New users with no web history have nothing to fill up those boxes in the New Tab page, so Mozilla is just going to let some ads be put in empty boxes. It's no big deal, doesn't get in anyone's way, and actually makes a good bit of sense.
    If it is optional, then yes it is fine. If it is not then it is just another way they are going to track and utilize your web history/cookies to sell and make money off of you just like most free web based email services sell your information, including contacts, to make money off of you. I think it is a bad idea because it will mean that even if you disable tracking in FF, FF will still track you to send specific adds to you and then there is the issue of the adds that contain viruses that computer illiterate people will click on.....
Display more comments