Mozilla Foundation chairwoman Mitchell Baker has defended the company’s decision to pursue installation of in-browser ads into Firefox. The former CEO of Mozilla Corp thinks that is equally important for Mozilla to earn revenue these days especially because it is undergoing a period of upgrade.
Previously, Ms. Baker announced the inclusion of ‘Directory Tiles’ in Firefox. This feature is being developed to display sponsored thumbnails containing advertisements especially in the New Tab page of the browser’s new users.
To address the issue pointed by those who question Mozilla’s revenue generation, Ms. Baker said it is necessary to fund the projects of the foundation. She reiterated her view that the organization could raise money without damaging its stance about user privacy or without harming its reputation among its users.
How it would work
The Directory Tiles concept is viewed as straight-forward. As new users begin using Firefox, they would encounter pre-populated tiles; a number of which would be advertisements appearing on the New Tab page.
If you have been using Firefox for some time now, that page features nine thumbnails, which show the most frequently visited online sites of the user. For new users, there would ogically be no thumbnail to display. This is where the sponsored ads come in. Mozilla would display paid ads in about two to three of those nine thumbnails.
Possible reduction or loss of fund
Mozilla is among the smallest organizations creating and maintaining browser. There are now five major developers of browsers: Google, Apple, Microsoft, Opera Software, and Mozilla. Of the five, Opera Software and Mozilla are the smaller ones, with the former having the smallest revenue in 2012—$216 million compared to the latter’s $311 million.
It was noted that out of Mozilla’s 2012 revenue, up to 88% or $274 million, was generated from a deal with Google. In that agreement, Mozilla has agreed to use Google search engine as Firefox default. That partnership was last renewed for another three years in December 2011. There are speculations that the deal amount could be reduced or could be totally scrapped by Google this coming December.
Thus, many analysts think that the latest position of Mozilla over revenue diversification could be based on that anticipation. It does not help that recent data from Net Applications, a Web analytics firm, show that Firefox’s user market share in January fell to 18% from 22% in 2011.