OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE OUTFIT Mozilla has announced that it will add sponsored content boxes to its popular Firefox web browser.
After consultation with the Internet Advertising Bureau, the Mozilla Foundation has agreed to launch Directory Tiles for new users, a way of populating the new tab screen with sponsored content. However, Mozilla claims they're not advertisements.
The organization explained on its advancing content blog, "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."
Although it's a very limited rollout that represents a first tentative step into the world of sponsored links, it might be the opening of Pandora's box for the previously advertising free web browser.
Mozilla VP of Content Services Darren Herman added, "We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better internet through trust and transparency, and it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project."
No release date has been set for Directory Tiles, however new Firefox users can expect to see sponsored links "as soon as we have the user experience right", Mozilla said.
The blog post claimed this marked change of policy is really okay, saying, "What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow." It added, "When the user is at the center everyone benefits, including content creators whether they are publishers or marketers."
But they're definitely not adverts. µ