Firefox Will Soon Get Sponsored Suggested Tiles Based On Your Browsing History
It’s pretty odd hearing a not-for-profit organization like Mozilla talk about how it wants to help advertisers strengthen the conversation between brands and its users — especially given that I’ve never met anybody who wanted to have a conversation with a brand. But that’s the world we live in.
Mozilla today launched its “Suggested Tiles” program, which promises advertisers prime real estate in Firefox’s new tab page. These ads will come to Firefox Beta first — mostly in the form of house ads — and then roll out to the main Firefox release channel soon after.
This move doesn’t come as a major surprise. Mozilla has featured sponsored ‘Directory Tiles‘ in Firefox for a few months now, after all, and Suggested Tiles are the logical next step. Unlike Directory Tiles, which are the default tiles that appear for new users without a browsing history, Sponsored Tiles are based on your browsing history. To do this, the advertising service looks at your browsing history to figure out your interests by comparing it to a set of URLs that fit into a given category.
This means Mozilla is walking a fine line here given that it has long championed protecting its users’ privacy as one of its main goals. The organization, however, argues that it has put clear limits on what data advertisers can collect from users and how it targets these ads.
“With Suggested Tiles, we want to show the world that it is possible to do relevant advertising and content recommendations while still respecting users’ privacy and giving them control over their data,” Mozilla’s VP of Content Services Darren Herman writes today.