Mozilla started to show sponsored tiles on the New Tab Page in Nightly builds. Though Mozilla, which gets revenue from search engines (majorly from Google), says it is experimenting with its New Tab Page, is it after a big chunk of money with these tiles?, may be Not. If you’re using a Nightly build, you can see a few out of eight tiles, labeled as ‘Sponsored’ (check the screenshot below), Mozilla has control on these tiles.
Mozilla experiments with the Firefox’s New Tab Page
"When you open a new Tab, you’ll see some sites from the sites you frequently visit, along with tiles that we think might be of interest to you. Some of these may be sponsored by Mozilla partners. We’ll always indicate to you which tiles are sponsored. "
"Any tile that was included or improved because of a sites commercial relationship with Mozilla have been clearly denoted as sponsored: sponsored" Firefox help page says.
For Firefox to show tiles on NTP, the user should have some browsing history, which obviously is not the case with fresh installs of Firefox. For those, Mozilla came up with a concept of ‘directory tiles’, which shows list of interesting tiles that was built from the popular tiles of other Firefox users.
Once the user starts to browse websites, these directory tiles will be eventually replaced by History Tiles.
Enhanced Tiles are those, where Firefox replaces history tiles screenshot with a better image.
Privacy concerns: What data Mozilla shares with its partners?
Data is transmitted directly to Mozilla and only aggregate data is stored on Mozilla servers. For both Directory Tiles and Enhanced Tiles, Mozilla is sharing aggregate numbers with partners on the number of impressions, clicks, pins, and hides their own content received.
To stop or prevent Sponsored tiles from appearing on New Tab Page
Click on gear icon which appears on right most of page and select ‘Blank’.
For more information, read below blog posts from Mozilla.
Which direction Mozilla is moving? How users reacts to this? Time will tell. Let us know your views on this in the comments.