Firefox New Tab Page Will Soon Display Ads

By | February 12, 2014 | 30 Comments


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Now here’s a new trend that will (hopefully) die soon: packing ads everywhere. The latest victim is Firefox web browser as Mozilla has announced plans to display ads in square slots that will be displayed in the New Tab page.

On a (slightly positive note), these ads will be displayed for first-time users only or the ones that haven’t occupied all tiles. Also, the open source organization said that “the sponsored tiles will be clearly labelled as such, while still leading to content that we think users will enjoy”.

So at least there is that. Still… When you are already losing market share, I don’t think that implementing ads (or suggested pages if you start twisting words like every PR does) is something such company should consider.

What do you think?


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Firefox_Still_Rocks_So_Far

    Damn, what a shame. Firefox is the only browser I can use without puking. Luckily, there are addons like Super Start and Speed Dial that can replace the new tab page. But who knows what crappy idea they will come up with later.

    • Brandon Heat

      nothing is what it used to be, now everything and everyone is a victim of globalization, having people learn english in order to get around on the internet or in the whole world is the first and foremost example of how horrible globalization can be. its not that i dont like english. who says that english should be the one language that everyone should know? what about swahili or mandarin? its true that “the winner is the one that writes the history”

      same goes for internet crap – the internet is the first “place” where globalization hits – for example the internet slang, it changes every so often and almost everyone uses it without even understanding their actions (remember when everything was “fake and gay”?.. or before memes were popular.. or the word “troll” that have been forgotten for years and just recently became the next best thing)

      firefox isnt Phoenix, or FireBird anymore, its Firefox and its a victim of globalization (if it wants to survive)

      you want a browser whose developers dont care if people like it or not? try Qupzilla or Midori

      in a year or two, everything on the internet will be even more shitty, so arm yourself with patience in order to deal with it or just cancel your contract with your internet service provider, cancel your contract with your cell phone carrier and go buy a farm somewhere, because thats the only option.. which really sucks now – unless you have a phone and internet, you cant function properly in everyday life.. this not only sucks, but its really REALLY sad

      • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

        Idiots, Mozilla is implement something that will give them more money so they can spend more on making Firefox, Firefox OS, web standards, etc, better, paying more devs, etc.

        From what we know the ads will be able to be easily dismissed or replaced by users.

        It’s not different than the default search engines deals and the default Speed Dial entries Opera includes for example.

        • Brandon Heat

          its more than obvious that mozilla is doing it for the money

          firefox can exist without ads, just like it existed since 2003, or whenever it was first started, they are just getting greedier, and what i said above – becoming a victim of globalization

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            /facepalm /facepalm

            Yes it’s for the money, but that doesn’t mean they’re getting greedier. With more money they can grow and invest in more things, hire more devs, etc, and yes increase the employees wages why not??

            Remember recent headlines saying the major part of Mozilla profit comes from the search engine deal with Google? Now read the official announcement linked, there’s a part where it says “it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project”. It’s another stream of profit for Mozilla so they become less dependent of that deal. ;)

            And globalization has nothing to do with money.

          • Brandon Heat

            i suggest you dont bother anymore, keep palming your face, for i am closing my open mind

          • Douglas Ryan

            And how are you going to defend it a few versions later when they Mozilla starts keeping records of the sites you visit to make the ad-tiles more “relevant?” You can say these tiles supposedly will be replaced by sites the user visits, but it will be trivial for Mozilla to just add extra tiles for this purpose. When a given software project goes adwarish, the slippery slope (usually a logical fallacy) tends to come true.

          • http://www.facebook.com/hector.maciasayala Hector Macias Ayala

            You gotta be a complete moron if you even keep a single tile of those after two days.

            And in case of update from a previous version you won’t see any ads at all.

          • Douglas Ryan

            Remember, they’re talking new users, Being new means not knowing anything about the browser, including possibly how to remove the tiles.

            As far as upgrades, I think that’s still an unknown factor. Reinstalls do generate the ad tiles.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Wow, hovering to show the X to remove or right-clicking, so hard…

          • Douglas Ryan

            Assuming the X is there to begin with. This is not guaranteed. Again, though it’s not the ease in which the tile can be removed at issue. It’s the idea and the dark places introducing ads can lead to.

          • Stve

            Without ads in search engines & web pages providing funding most of the web sites I visit would vanish over night.
            Having a tile in the new tab page linking to Facebook or Amazon is useful for most of us if you object just use the x.

          • http://www.facebook.com/hector.maciasayala Hector Macias Ayala

            It doesn’t mean new to browsing at all, or newbies.

          • Douglas Ryan

            I noted there are few truly new internet users to be had in the first world in another forum. However, in the developing world and in emerging market economies there will be plenty of truly new internet users. In nation such as those, ad tiles will waste slow and expensive bandwidth.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Just like visiting any website…

          • Douglas Ryan

            No. A user chooses to visit websites, he makes the choice with his bandwidth. If the browser itself downloads info from a site to display an ad, it’s completely different story.

          • Stve

            When I use Opera’s off-road mode I get pages with ads injected by Opera & I save lots of bandwidth.
            Having A Directory Tile is just a visual bookmark its not consuming bandwidth.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            After you lend me your crystal ball I comment on it.

            (And I’m not the kind who cares about “relevant ads” anyway.)

          • Douglas Ryan

            This is one of those “fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on me” situations. How many times does ad supported “free” software have start collecting user’s data before people learn, even if the software doesn’t start of with this behaviour. Experience eliminates the need for a crystal ball.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Sorry but this has not happened until now and there are no signs Mozilla will twist their ideals soon. I’ll believe when I see it.

          • Douglas Ryan

            A poster on Mitchel Baker’s blog (https://blog.lizardwrangler.com/2014/02/13/content-ads-caution/#comments #31) questions how do you make “relevant” ads without some sort of tracking. But I think the answer is obvious, it isn’t.

          • Stve

            If you are an average user you don’t know or care.
            Personally I set my cookies to delete when exiting my browser just create exceptions for any sites you find useful.
            I find Firefox’s New Tab page extremely annoying I just installed Aurora added BBC news to a tile & spent 5 minutes looking through the themes , the next time I opened the New Tab page
            5 tiles filled with links to theme pages thats beyond stupid.

  • Cenon Francis Manansala

    Damn mozilla wtf? I’ve been using your browser since 05…

  • http://www.facebook.com/hector.maciasayala Hector Macias Ayala

    Opera has included these things in the original setup for ages, just delete them or occupy them with something of your liking.

    Of course I’m speaking as a Opera user, where I always have had the option to customize such things.

    BTW, I guess applies only to new installs, not upgrades.

    • Douglas Ryan

      The difference is that Fx is meant to be performing a public service by offer a free as in freedom browser as a public service. Opera ASA is and always was a for-profit corporation. This and the upcoming Australis eliminates two reasons to use the browser.

      • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

        Mozilla is a non-profit that gives out a free software but they equally depend on money to be successful. You built a fantasy in your mind.

        • Douglas Ryan

          They have plenty of money. As far as benefiting from them, Rekonq right now seems like a good alternative.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            They need more. They need a greater force for Firefox OS. They need a profit stream that doesn’t depend on Google…

          • Douglas Ryan

            They can wean themselves off Google at anytime. Think Microsoft can’t match or beat what Google pays? Maybe Yahoo wants to rebuild their glory days? And have you seen Mozilla’s financial statements? Both their assets and revenue have been increasing rapidly.

  • Gaby2300

    Fortunately this is very simple to avoid!
    First time users just have to populate those tabs with other content they like!