Mozilla, the company behind the hit Firefox web browser, announced Tuesday that it will soon begin selling ads within Firefox.
This comes as somewhat conflicting news for a company that was playing with the idea of blocking third-party ad technologies in Firefox, but never fully implemented it.
The ads will appear within the tiles of Firefox’s “new tab” pages, not dissimilar to Chrome’s default look for newly opened browsing tabs. These targeted advertisements will suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users as part of a new initiative called “Directory Tiles.”
“Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission,” the company said in a blog post.
“The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy.”
For Mozilla, the click-based revenue opportunities here are very substantial, as Firefox easily sees 100 billion tile impressions domestically each year, according to a spokesperson. But even though the program’s foundation has been in production since last summer, it will roll out slowly – first to first time users, which is about 31 million, according to Mozilla principal of strategy, Chris Tacy.
While some may cry foul at a non-profit company like Mozilla making the move to generate ad revenue, it’s important to remember that these companies still have full-time employees. And though the company makes much of its revenue on search, expansion is always in a company’s best interest for growth and stability.
So far as advertising partners go, Mozilla hasn’t divulged any names, but says they’re actively seeking them.
“We are looking to partner with like-minded content owners and creators, such as leading publishers and curators as well as innovative advertising agencies,” the spokesperson said.