Mozilla, the non-profit group behind the famous Firefox browser, has finally gone the advertisement way to generate revenues. The company announced on Thursday that it will start showing ads as thumbnails on a newly opened tab. With this, Mozilla is taking a gentler approach in connecting advertisers with consumers without scaring them into ditching the browser completely.
The roll-out of ads into the browser follows a year-long experiment where the company tested the reception among a small number of users. The ads, which Mozilla refers to as "Enhanced Tiles," will be featured alongside thumbnails of recently-visited sites on a new tab without affecting the user's browsing experience. Unlike other browsers, Firefox will allow its users to disable ads by clicking on the gear icon on the top right of the tab and choosing Classic or Blank modes, CNET reports.
The enhanced tiles shown on the browser will match users' interests. Mozilla said it will collect limited user information such as location (not beyond his or her country), number of times a user pins the tile to New Tab page, and browsing history. The company will carefully use this information to show relevant ads.
"It's almost like cookie-less retargeting," Darren Herman, Mozilla's vice president of content services told Ad Exchanger news site. "Enhanced Tiles targets a user we know would go to your site, due to their browsing history, and offers advertisers the ability to put a piece of fresh content in front of that user from a site they're used to seeing."
In an official blog post on Thursday, Mozilla revealed its first Tile partners, CVS Health, Booking.com and Citizenfour. The first ads to be shown on the browser will be anti-tobacco messages and the promotions for Citizenfour, a biopic based on Edward Snowden.
The ads will also be shown to users based on how long they have been using the browser. New users will see sponsored tiles for Mozilla sites and Mozilla's partners, while those who have been using the browser for over a month, will see sponsored tiles based on their browsing history.
Mozilla Firefox is available as a free download Windows, OS X and Linux, and updates will be pushed automatically.