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Mozilla won’t clutter Firefox with ads, much or yet

Forget what you read, and read it again
Mon May 12 2014, 09:50

A Firefox logoSOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has attempted to allay fears that it will clutter up its Firefox web browser with sponsored logos and adverts by saying that it will do something that sounds a bit like that.

Earlier this year, Mozilla said that it would fill blank spaces on users' most visited websites with recommendations. Recommendations being another way of saying advertising, perhaps, and people were concerned that Mozilla was about to hawk whatever it wanted.

Not so, Mozilla has now said, you read it wrong.

Mozilla's Firefox VP Johnathan Nightingale said in a blog post that people did not understand what Mozilla was saying, and sympathised, saying that sometimes technology talk is tricky.

"It didn't go over well. A lot of our community found the language hard to decipher, and worried that we were going to turn Firefox into a mess of logos sold to the highest bidder; without user control, without user benefit," he said of the changes proposed in February.

"That's not going to happen. That's not who we are at Mozilla."

What is going to happen, said Nightingale, is that Mozilla will tinker with the system for some time, honing and polishing it in a series of tests. Then, when that is done it will start with a sponsored system.

"We will experiment. In the coming weeks, we'll be landing tests on our pre-release channels to see whether we can make things like the new tab page more useful, particularly for fresh installs of Firefox, where we don't yet have any recommendations to make from your history," he added.

"We'll test a mix of our own sites and other useful sites on the Web. We'll mess with the layout. These tests are purely to understand what our users find helpful and what our users ignore or disable - these tests are not about revenue and none will be collected. Sponsorship would be the next stage once we are confident that we can deliver user value." µ


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