Mozilla ditches plans to show ads in Firefox's new tab page

Mozilla announced late on Friday that a previously announced plan to show ads in the new tab page of Firefox won't be moving forward. The reason is simple: Firefox users told Mozilla they didn't want such a "feature" in the web browser. 

In a blog post, Mozilla's vice president of Firefox Johnathan Nightingale wrote:

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

However, Nightingale added that Mozilla will still be experimenting with other features in the Firefox new tab page in its pre-release channels, which may include displaying pages from both the company and "other useful sites on the Web." He emphasized that their will be no revenue collected from these pages.

This is just the latest 180 that Mozilla has made this year. They also ditched a plan to release a version of Firefox made for the Modern UI of Windows 8. More seriously, the company's previously announced CEO Brendan Eich resigned just a few days later after his backing of an anti-gay marriage bill in California was made public.

Source: Mozilla | Image via CNET

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Mozilla, it was who they are for a good bit.. Somebody at Mozilla tabled this bad idea.
Makes me think no one is guiding the ship

I don't really see how putting a few built in (but removable) bookmarks on the new tab page is any different to selling the default search engine place to Google. If it helps Mozilla get funding outside of Google then that is probably a Good Thing™. As long as I as a user can just click on a little X to remove the bookmark forever then who really cares?

Not sure I buy their reasoning. They had no problem forcing an ugly Chrome rip-off UI on their users with the latest update, offering no option to keep your current set-up. Any Firefox user who was quite happy with the way their browser looked now has to turn to third party extensions (and all the potential negatives, such as security flaws, sluggish performance and lack of updates) to restore functionality.

Just like Opera, they're desperately trying to emulate Chrome in an attempt to curb their falling market share. And I imagine just like Opera, all they'll do is alienate long-term users without actually drawing anyone else in. People use Chrome because it's from Google, not because of its UI. Can't replicate that.

Thunderbird has had the UI for ages now. They aren't "ripping off Chrome in the latest update".

Also Chrome was not the first to implement the "simplified UI" either, if you want to start nitpicking.

Aretak said,
Not sure I buy their reasoning. They had no problem forcing an ugly Chrome rip-off UI on their users with the latest update, offering no option to keep your current set-up. Any Firefox user who was quite happy with the way their browser looked now has to turn to third party extensions (and all the potential negatives, such as security flaws, sluggish performance and lack of updates) to restore functionality.

Just like Opera, they're desperately trying to emulate Chrome in an attempt to curb their falling market share. And I imagine just like Opera, all they'll do is alienate long-term users without actually drawing anyone else in. People use Chrome because it's from Google, not because of its UI. Can't replicate that.

Not sure what you mean by "restoring functionality." All the original functionality is still there, just better cleaned up and organized.

Aretak said,
Not sure I buy their reasoning. They had no problem forcing an ugly Chrome rip-off UI on their users with the latest update, offering no option to keep your current set-up. Any Firefox user who was quite happy with the way their browser looked now has to turn to third party extensions (and all the potential negatives, such as security flaws, sluggish performance and lack of updates) to restore functionality.

Just like Opera, they're desperately trying to emulate Chrome in an attempt to curb their falling market share. And I imagine just like Opera, all they'll do is alienate long-term users without actually drawing anyone else in. People use Chrome because it's from Google, not because of its UI. Can't replicate that.

Firefox emulating Chrome? LOL

If Firefox copies Chrome just because they rounded tabs then Chrome emulated Netscape

"They had no problem forcing an ugly Chrome rip-off UI on their users with the latest update"
Firefox updates are not forced onto anyone.

timster said,
"They had no problem forcing an ugly Chrome rip-off UI on their users with the latest update"
Firefox updates are not forced onto anyone.

Well they are, because by default it's set to automatically update without any input from you.

The fact that an add-on can restore most pre-29 UI settings, shows that the code that would allow Firefox to continue on with that old UI is still there, or can easily be put back. That being the case, Aretak is very likely correct in his reasoning as to why Mozilla changed the UI. All done to emulate Google Chrome, in order to make more money.

Well, good for the users, but I'd like to know if there's any alternatives? While I wouldn't object them ceasing development of Gecko (or whatever its called under the hood) and making Firefox WebKit based, I think we benefit from hving another major engine out there to help force standards. Should Mozilla resort to more active fund-raising, with occassional requests ala NPR?

Chikairo said,
Well, good for the users, but I'd like to know if there's any alternatives? While I wouldn't object them ceasing development of Gecko (or whatever its called under the hood) and making Firefox WebKit based, I think we benefit from hving another major engine out there to help force standards. Should Mozilla resort to more active fund-raising, with occassional requests ala NPR?

Man!

Sure hope they don't resort to using that web kit crap!! That already ruined 1 browser I used to use!

From the pic in the article, it looks like they've already started using that stupid Chrome bookmark setup though. Only have Firefox on 1 computer and was starting to like it, which I never have before, but if they start making it look entirely like Chrome and especially if they start using Chromes engine, it will be gone!

Use Cyberfox mostly on other computers.

My FireFox went ahead with auto update of the browser to version 29 and I am not liking the new looks, which is now seems to be same as a Chrome !!

Same here. Even worse, instead of the white "blank" window, now you get a black "blank" window followed by the white one. Definitely a step backward. Or, is Mozilla following Microsoft's philosophy of pandering to mobile devices at the expense of all other users?

Choto Cheeta said,
My FireFox went ahead with auto update of the browser to version 29 and I am not liking the new looks, which is now seems to be same as a Chrome !!

Can you upload some screenshots of the new version? Just did a quick search but can't find any 29 screenshots with anything different ;/

I am fairly certain they are *not* dropping the plans to show ads on the new tab page. The blog post simply states that the ads will not be what he considers an uncontrolled "mess". He goes on to say that "sponsorship would be the next stage once we are confident that we can deliver user value".

The developers still appear to be working on the feature, which is the "experimenting" he refers to:
https://mail.mozilla.org/piper...v/2014-May/thread.html#1596

While I don't think it is intentional, the blog post seems like yet another miscommunication from Mozilla about the new page ads. In my opinion, the real problem is that they have convinced themselves that the _paid logos that are placed on the new tab page without user consent_ are somehow not "ads" because they are not as obtrusive as some Internet advertising. This causes them to (a) continue developing the feature because they see nothing wrong with it and (b) write misleading posts that imply there won't be (what they consider to be) ads.

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