One of the nice things about Mozilla and Chrome is that both are relatively lightweight feeling browsers that aren’t too bogged down on the software side – at least, until you start installing your own plug-ins. Mozilla apparently has some plans up its sleeves to monetize its browser. How? By adding advertisements.
Thankfully the ads aren’t going to be visible all of the time, though Mozilla is oddly trying to disguise them as part of its new “Directory Tiles” feature. Directory Tiles will create “pre-packaged content” for first time users. In other words, right now when you first open up the Mozilla browser and visit your open tab box, you’ll just see a single page rectangle representing the open Firefox page. That’s soon going to be populated with other content. Here’s the space Mozilla is talking about:
Mozilla is going to start to load that page with “popular websites in a given geographic location” in addition to “sponsored content from hand-picked partners,” the company said. Sponsored content, of course, is a fancy word for advertisements, and more often than not “hand-picked” means content from partners willing to pay the most for that space.
Mozilla says Directory Tiles will add value to users but that it will help Mozilla become more “sustainable” by generating some extra income. If the content is indeed valuable, then some users might not end up really caring about the sponsored areas. Links to ESPN, CNN and other popular news sites wouldn’t be so bad, but if we’re talking about ads for brands that don’t really apply to everyone then it becomes an issue.
Mozilla said it will provide more information soon, but we can’t say we’re exactly excited to see ads start to creep into our browsers.