It appears that Mozilla has realised that their income from their affiliation with Google could be in jeopardy very soon. Back in 2008, the two companies agree to make Google search the default engine in Firefox and in return, Google would pay the firm $300 million a year to keep up the agreement and assist with development for Firefox. Its a bit weird to think that Chrome is essentially the main contributor to it’s biggest rival, but that’s how things should get done on the internet – collaboration to make proper standards, not have everyone running around like a headless chicken with their own idea of what should be done.
With the agreement now up for renewal, Mozilla is looking into other sources of revenue as is is expected that Google will drop the payout for the next agreement. In their search, Mozilla has decided that they will sell advertising space on the New Tab page.
Putting a spin on what many users might consider an invasion of their browser, Vice President of Content Services at Mozilla, Darren Herman, said that the advertising space wouldn’t remain in the browser permanently. In a blog on Mozilla’s site, Herman noted that what they were planning is merely that first-time users see sponsored links to web pages in the New Tab page, similar to what Opera does for Opera Mini and Mobile by adding in sponsored links to the company’s own services and to third-parties.
“While Mozilla hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with all viewpoints in the digital content community, particularly the IAB,” writes Herman, “we think they’d agree that users’ interests should come first, and we want to help their members deliver compelling content to strengthen the Web ecosystem.”
“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,” he adds.
Personally, I think it’s a pretty good idea. Many first-time computer users as well as those who’ve been attached to Internet Explorer 6 for all these years may find themselves lost with a new browser. Offering links to familiar sites and new ones you haven’t explored yet may be a good thing and could help increase Mozilla’s market.
On top of that, if the extra funding could go into improving the browser and even to their other projects like Firefox OS and their Android browser, this would benefit users on other projects as well.
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