Some Firefox users they started to see an ad in the Firefox browser, and at the bottom of each new tab. The ad offered 20 dollars to book the next stay via Booking.com.
However, according to the Mozilla Foundation, this ad was a Firefox experiment and did not share user data with its partners.
The ad stated:
"Are you ready to plan your next family reunion?" Book your next hotel stay today and receive a free $ 20 gift card from Amazon. Happy Holidays from Firefox! ”
The Mozilla Foundation seems to be constantly looking for new ways of funding. Firefox in the 60 version, released in May, brought the Pocket marketing stories to the new tabs.
But Pocket ads were announced and explained in advance. However, Booking.com's advertising was something we did not hear, even though the Mozilla Foundation says it's actually the second advertisement in the month.
"This snippet (a cute term to describe an ad) was an experiment that adds more value to Firefox users through offers from a partner," a Mozilla spokesman told VentureBeat.
"It was not a paid advertisement. We are constantly looking for more ways to say thank you for using Firefox. In a similar vein, earlier this month we offered Firefox users a free chance to enjoy a live gig from Phosphorescent. In addition to being of greater value to Firefox users, these efforts are intended to support an open ecosystem. When users see such offers, they do not share data with a partner until users choose to use the link. We hope that this strategy will be a positive example. "
Mozilla's argument that this is not advertising is understandable, even if it is not true. The company wants to distance itself from the terms "paid placement" and "advertising" because of the negative effects associated with unwanted advertising.
Ads can be useful when they benefit the user, but no matter how they name them, they are still ads.
Snippets or snippets are enabled by default in Firefox, but you can easily disable them. Follow the path (through the browser address bar)
about: preferences # home and uncheck Snippets.
The description of snippets or snippets as the Mozilla Foundation wants them to be described and as described by Firefox is not so clear: "Updates from Mozilla and Firefox". The Mozilla wiki offers a more detailed explanation:
The about: home snippet service is a simple, content management service. Its purpose is to collect and deliver content snippets on Firefox home page.
So the Mozilla Foundation uses the snippets to display tips on Firefox features or send a message to its users (for example, there is one today that wishes you Happy New Year). In this case, Mozilla has decided to use this feature to display an ad.
Firefox 64, which arrived earlier this month, added the Contextual Feature Recommender (CFR), for U.S. users. Thus the "excerpts" are said to appear only to users outside the US
"The Booking.com quote ran for five days and ended on schedule on December 30," said Justin O'Kelly of Mozilla PR.