Firefox to include advertising



  • Mozilla has announced that Firefox is going to include advertising, or sponsored content as they prefer to call it. [url]http://www.dailydot.com/business/mozilla-firefox-sponsored-content/[/url]



  • Sadly, not exactly the kind of news we would hail.

    But at least they make their move public, not in secrecy and most important they let you turn off this 'feature' in "about:config".



  • It's a bit like what Opera itself did with Speed Dial. They describe their concept on their webpage: http://www.operasoftware.com/content-partners

    This was part of O12 and is also part of Opera 15+.



  • @user:

    It's a bit like what Opera itself did with Speed Dial. They describe their concept on their webpage: http://www.operasoftware.com/content-partners

    This was part of O12 and is also part of Opera 15+.

    So that is why Opera introduced Speed Dial which I always considered unnecessary - and switched off!



  • For the moment, though, this will only be for fresh installs. The adverts will go once the user has visited a few sites, as the spaces will get occupied with the most visited sites. There is also no plan, as of yet, to allow for tracking or using the data of users to determine ads (this would be sort of difficult with a fresh profile ;) ). However, the key thing to remember is that once this is implemented, how long will it take before it does get crafty and the "sponsors" demand more, like tracking or data-mining to get targeted ads (which will bring in more money to Mozilla)? Sorry, but this state of affairs really has to be squashed in the bud.

    I wouldn't object to these panels being filled with pages showing off Mozilla and asking for donations or other help, but I don't like the idea of advertisers getting this kind of foot into the browser. Bad times ahead, unless…



  • @Terryphi:

    @user:

    It's a bit like what Opera itself did with Speed Dial. They describe their concept on their webpage: http://www.operasoftware.com/content-partners

    This was part of O12 and is also part of Opera 15+.

    So that is why Opera introduced Speed Dial which I always considered unnecessary - and switched off!

    Before Speed Dial, like in version 9.x, Opera Internet Suite was provided with default partners bookmarks or search fields.
    Opera, like Firefox, always be a discrete adware to look like a fr€€ software for final user :D



  • I don't have a problem with advertising and if ads on FF help support the browser, no problem from my end. I never let extensions like Adblock just block everything but try and disable it on sites that I frequent. I feel the same about so-called tracking cookies. As I've mentioned in other threads, I've actually benefited from ads that had tracked me. Back on Black Friday I save a little over $700 by getting in on two Lenovo Thinkpads at the exact right time.

    Regardless, ads in FF are no problem to me just as ads in Opera back in the 90's were no problem.



  • You don't have to put up with the advertising. Set your home page to about:blank.

    Open about:config
    Search for browser.newtabpage.enabled and change value from true to false.

    You will never see the new tab page again. :)



  • @Terryphi:

    You don't have to put up with the advertising. Set your home page to about:blank.

    Open about:config
    Search for browser.newtabpage.enabled and change value from true to false.

    You will never see the new tab page again. :)

    I don't see the "putting up with advertising" as an issue. What is the problem? If advertising is intrusive, then sure… I look for ways to kill that (i.e. pop-ups, flash) but banner ads? I just don't see the problem.



  • @Terryphi:

    You don't have to put up with the advertising. Set your home page to about:blank.

    Open about:config
    Search for browser.newtabpage.enabled and change value from true to false.

    You will never see the new tab page again. :)

    Done that for a while. ;) Anyway, what's being proposed won't affect those with used profiles, only those who start fresh… at least for now.



  • Hopefully this will not be off-topic to this thread but, IMO, it is related. I'm not arguing for/against what Firefox does, nor over this particular method since a lot of information about it remains lacking.

    But what, exactly, do users of Firefox (or any other freeware) find to be acceptable and likely-successful ways of a software development company covering the costs of its "free" products? The methods I see most-often are ad placements, bundled adware, and tie-ins (default search engines, Discover-like media provision, etc). "Donations" seem to be unpredictable and an inadequate solution. Frankly, it continues to surprise me how even all these techniques can recover enough revenue to keep a software development company solvent. Nevertheless, how should an organization like Mozilla obtain the revenue to keep on designing, patching, updating, distributing, and documenting the products it delivers for free?



  • Kinda surprised seeing this coming from mozilla.

    However, I don't really have a problem if it's not (here comes the magic word) intrusive. If they are doing it in a similar way the Opera did it (been here since v7) then it's OK. If its only some predefined Bookmarks and SpeedDial-Entry which I can delete, then there's no Problem.

    Opera-Discover would be a good example in my case.
    Make no mistake, I am not using Blink! But, sadly, I made the mistake of trying it.
    Back on topic:
    Something like Discover is certainly the maximum what I would tolerate in terms of ad-integration into the browser. But only because I'm not forced to look at it. It can sit in it's lonely little corner for all I care. If that helps the Browser-Developer, every-thing's fine.

    The above only is valid if no personal Information is collected about me, I don't know if Discover fits into that category.



  • Very pertinent questions. It seems to me that an entitlement philosophy exists today. I should get everything for free and I should never be inconvenienced. That attitude rubs me the wrong way.



  • @JamesD:

    Very pertinent questions. It seems to me that an entitlement philosophy exists today. I should get everything for free and I should never be inconvenienced. That attitude rubs me the wrong way.

    I know this might sound a little hypocritical coming from me but I kinda get what you're saying.
    I also don't particularly like the "there are ads in a free program?!? Abandon Ship!!!"-ideology of some people.

    I do appreciate what is given to me more than people might think, I also know (at least a little) what huge effort lies behind that software and that giving it away for "free" is a hard business model.

    On the other side, in recent years, ad- and content-serving as well as stat-monitoring has gone the the point where it's beyond scary.
    When you visit a page, your browser already goes twice around the world, but because of the ads placed in the page by ten or twenty third-party content-providers (whose intentions are unknown) it does another 100 loops around the world. Logging some kind of data at each and every point, miraculously generating money from it.
    Oh how I would love to go back 10 years.

    So what now? Bering left somewhere between being scared and thankful I try to square ad-blocking with my conscience. Am I a hypocrite?



  • @ChPr:

    So what now? Bering left somewhere between being scared and thankful I try to square ad-blocking with my conscience. Am I a hypocrite?

    I don't have the right to tell anyone what he or she should or should not be doing. I have all I can do to look after my own moral conscience in these things. When I share my feelings regarding ad-blocking and cookie tracking, I'm not advocating my methods and decisions as the "be-all" and "end-all" of what is right and wrong. I'm just saying, for me blocking ads outright without any regard whatsoever to the ads or the sites, is simply irresponsible (and selfish to a degree). But I can't speak for the next person. He/She will have to find what is comfortable behavior in his view.



  • I find this general condemnation of advertising on the Internet somewhat exaggerated. Nothing comes from nothing. Good service must be paid. Since advertising for the service providers is the easiest way to get the money from parasites who claim first-class performance but don´t want to pay anything for it! These "everything for free" mentality has indeed established in the web.
    But if something is wrong or not working on this free service these ticks are the first which refer themselves as "Customer". And these "Customers" certainly are now the ones who complain first and loudest.



  • There was a time years ago when I got virtually all my "new" information either from a tax-supported library, buying books, from paid subscriptions to selected publications, via ad-supported broadcasting, or from word-of-mouth. In those days, essentially everyone accepted that acquiring the best information incurred some kind of cost; free information was usually considered well worth the money spent on it. Then came the Internet.

    We as "users" now seem to operate within a paradigm fashioned around a mental disconnect: we operate as if good information (and the tools to acquire it) ought to be free, whilst subconsciously recognizing that acquiring, catalogueing, disseminating, and designing the tools to collect it all cost somebody somewhere real money.

    I'm not sure how it "ought" to be resolved Internet-wide. Personally, I'd be content with paying once again for information (or entertainment) from sources I valued, albeit with some "free" mechanisms to allow a small portion to be previewed such that I could see if it promised to be worth its cost. Frankly, I'd prefer that approach to those current methods whereby my personal data ("anonymously" or otherwise) is covertly sliced/diced/categorized/sold to complete strangers to cover the costs of providing "content", or where unwanted software is quietly shoved at me unless I'm clever enough or observant enough to opt away at the just-right point. I can accept web-page ads… the few printed journals for which I still pay subscriptions all carry tons of ads to help keep their subscriber costs down. But I realize I'm certainly not everyone else; YMMV.

    So my question remains: how should free website and software providers cover their costs? Is there something being overlooked - another creative approach that would resolve both Internet user privacy/preferences and provider/enabler financial concerns? Because, unless another approach appears with reasonably wide acceptance, it's a slam-dunk that costs will only rise and existing cost-recovery efforts become ever-more intrusive and devious at both the software and the website levels. Put another way, it's going to be either our billfolds, our eyeballs, or Google Inc.



  • While I am not sure how to feel about this - indifferent at the moment - I am surprised by the announcement as that isn't in line with the goals or let's say "values" I perceived from the Mozilla foundation in the past. Maybe it's a way for them to get more financial independence from their big sponsors - but then the advertisers do kind of become big sponsors themselves, don't they?
    Also I think there will be an impact, some kind of user reaction on this. How big, I dunno, but in the end it is a risk for Mozilla to take this step and there is a trade-off between potential additional income and potential loss of users.

    For myself, I'll wait and see how it turns out if and when it happens.





  • I wonder about this "needing the money" thing - back in the old days in Opera, the top executive of Mozilla was paid more than ten times as much as anybody at Opera got. Jon, as CEO, actually made less than many others in the company.

    Nowadays, however, Opera seems to have the same extreme payoff to executives and board members as anybody else.


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