Feeds

Mozilla axes HATED Firefox-ad-tab plan ... but will try again

'That's not who we are', veep says as sponsored content plan remains in place

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Mozilla has scrapped its plan to show in-browser adverts to new users of Firefox.

Back in February, Moz talked up “Directory Tiles” that “suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users” of the open-source web browser. Some of the suggestions would be paid-for – ads in other words.

The organisation now says the idea “didn’t go over well” and has, in a new post, abandoned it. And decided it will keep trying to find a way to do the same thing.

Mozilla veep Johnathan Nightingale said on Friday: “A lot of our community found the language [about Directory Tiles] hard to decipher, and worried that we were going to turn Firefox into a mess of logos sold to the highest bidder; without user control, without user benefit.”

He now says “That’s not going to happen. That’s not who we are at Mozilla.”

But Mozilla will, he says, “experiment” with “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.”

Those experiments deliver links to “... a mix of our own sites and other useful sites on the Web” and won't involve any paid-for content. But Nightingale writes “sponsorship would be the next stage once we are confident that we can deliver user value.”

All of which sounds like Mozilla saying it's committed to finding a way to get corps to pay for a presence in fresh Firefox installs, even though many criticised the idea first time around.

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

Just “who we are at Mozilla” stands for looks like it could be up for debate, as user complaints – or at least those we recorded – seemed to express a dislike for the very idea of sponsored content in Firefox in any format.

That Mozilla is pressing ahead with the idea suggests it feels financial pressure to do so. That's perhaps a more worrying state of affairs than its seeming tin ear regarding ads. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.