We have been talking about it for several months already: Mozilla wants to transform the Firefox “new tab” page to insert advertising. And if the “teasing” has been going on for a long time, with the functionality that was already there on the test versions of the free browser, it has now officially arrived on the stable version of Firefox.
So of course, announced in a single block like that, the news is surprising, especially coming from Mozilla: advertising, even inside Firefox? And indeed, the announcement caused a stir when it first started. However, since then, water has flowed under the bridges and we have learned more about these sponsored tiles about which Mozilla wanted to reassure us. This time, it's up to you to make up your own mind.
Sponsored tiles mainly affect users with an empty or close to empty history: they will therefore see suggestions in the form of tiles on the “new tab” page. It is these suggestions that are bought by advertisers.
For the moment, two partners have already made themselves known: CVS Health and Booking.com, and new Firefox users as well as those who empty their history regularly should see their tiles.
As with all advertising, advertisers ask for feedback: Did users click? Is this ad really good for anything or is it just money thrown out the window? These are questions that Mozilla must answer, but without violating its principles of not selling the user.
The company therefore found a compromise by anonymizing the data retrieved: advertisers know that a click was made, but do not know who made it. In addition, Mozilla makes it a point of honor to sort out its partners so that they do not go against these same principles.
Finally, the thing to know is that it will be possible to disable these advertisements via a parameter. So if you are totally allergic to advertising, you can rest assured.
Will this be enough to reduce Mozilla's dependence on Google? We will have to wait at least several months before having the answer to this question.