Mozilla will soon begin to show sponsored content on Firefox when new users open up the New Tab page in the browser.
When users begin to use Firefox, their “Directory Tiles” — the nine boxes that appear on the New Tab page — are mostly empty before populating over time with the most frequent and recent websites users visit. With this move, Directory Tiles will populate with pre-packaged content for first-time users.
The tile placements will be a mix of content from Mozilla, popular websites in users’ geographic location, and as well as sponsored content from “hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission.” The sponsored tiles will be labeled as such.
“We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better Internet through trust and transparency, and it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project,” wrote Darren Herman, VP of Content Services at Mozilla in a blog post.
Herman announced the coming sponsored Directory Tiles at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting this week, while acknowledging in the blog that Mozilla hasn’t “always seen eye-to-eye” with the IAB. Mozilla has been vocal in its opposition to online advertising practices it believes infringes on user privacy. Currently, Mozilla generates the bulk of its revenue from driving search traffic to Google.
Herman did not provide a time frame, but says the company is currently speaking with potential content sponsors and will roll out the new Directory Tiles experience “as soon as we have the user experience right.”