Last May, Mozilla began offering sponsored tiles, which would appear on when someone started Firefox or opened a new tab. Now, over half a year later, they are ending the program and will no longer sell sponsored tiles to advertisers. Their reasoning behind the move is to “focus on content discovery.”
Our learnings show that users want content that is relevant, exciting and engaging. We want to deliver that type of content experience to our users, and we know that it will take focus and effort to do that right.
Advertising in Firefox could be a great business, but it isn’t the right business for us at this time because we want to focus on core experiences for our users. We want to reimagine content experiences and content discovery in our products. We will do this work as a fully integrated part of the Firefox team.
It will be interesting to see what Mozilla does in regards to pushing “content experiences” and “content discovery”. Could their promotion of content discovery turn into an advertising opportunity where advertisers could push specific pieces of content, rather than simply pushing the homepage of a site? Possibly and it could be an effective way to reach users. However, many Firefox users were not happy with the push of the sponsored tiles in the first place, and it is worth noting that their largest browser competitor, Chrome, offers no similar advertising.
It does seem that there will still be some sponsored tiles running over the next few months, as Mozilla says it will complete commitments to advertisers. But no new advertising will be accepted.
Naturally, we will fulfill our current commitments as we wind down this experiment over the next few months.
So while you may see Firefox sponsored tiles for a short while, they will be phased out as advertising commitments are completed.
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