If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Especially when you are sitting on billions of impressions to monetize. After the community outcry about the possibility of being deluged with ads, Mozilla is doing the tried and true clarification. Wait everybody, you just misunderstood us.
Vice President at Mozilla, Johnathan Nightingale, is moving to throw a lot of words on what will be Firefox’s Sponsored Tab program. “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.”
If you think that means Sponsored Tabs is dead, think again. The company is going to experiment with the program to find the best fit. Firefox will undergo multiple tests of layouts and designs. The company wants to feature interesting content in the tabbed area. Right now, if you are a heavy Firefox user, it is a collection of your most visited sites.
The VP of Mozilla has insisted that no money will be made in the testing phase, and the company will take into account feedback from the user base. At the end of the day, it’s untapped revenue. We all know how this game will end. They will find the least intrusive way of doing it and move forward.
Mozilla is still recovering in the public relations arena after the Brendan Eich promotion and his quick resigning. The hope is that the promises made to include consumer feedback will placate users as they move forward.
The sponsored tabs will be a product going forward. It’s just too easy to make money off of. Will consumers leave in droves because one of the tiles is an ad? That’s highly doubtful. If consumers shied away from every site with ads, they would be reading the Encyclopedia Britannica – print edition. Oh wait, they would have to pay for that too.
In the end, some noise will be made. Boycott threats will be tossed around. But, Mozilla will implement this on Firefox. It just makes too much business sense. The company will just have to ensure the Mozilla experience stays close to the same.