Mozilla Firefox’s management is working out a scheme to place advertisement in browser’s New Tab page, the company announced at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual meeting and in a blog post. The advertised pages will be shown to new users with empty browsing history; a new user will then see potentially relevant websites listed in Tiles (nine rectangular boxes with a screenshot of a website in each of them) instead of just a blank tab; the feature will be called Directory Tiles. Sponsored content will be clearly labeled as such. As user’s browsing history piles up, the New Tab page will display only websites the user frequently and recently visited, sorted out with Mozilla’s algorithm.
Firefox doesn’t rush to make the final decision, and it seems like they are actually listening to their users. The company has a history of going against advertisers, bringing to life such features as the ‘Do Not Track’ browser capabilities and automatic blocking of third-party cookies, both aimed to prevent targeted advertisement. Mozilla mostly existed, and still does, by means of a multiple-year business agreement with Google, which is the default search engine in Firefox. However, it is time to think about other options to make profit, with Google’s own browser, Google Chrome, gaining momentum.
Mozilla might be the first company to actually see how people react on a new feature before implementing it. While Directory Tiles are still in progress, interesting questions keep popping out all over the Web like “if I clear my browsing history, will I see ads for another 30 days?” And we are yet to find out.