Firefox with ads on New Tab Page - gHacks Tech News

Firefox with ads on New Tab Page

Reports indicate that the Firefox browser displays advertisement on the browser's New Tab Page to some users of the browser.

Update: Mozilla provided the following statement. According to the statement, the placement was not paid but a thank you".

This snippet was an experiment to provide more value to Firefox users through offers provided by a partner. It was not a paid placement or advertisement. We are continually looking for more ways to say thanks for using Firefox. In a similar vein, earlier this month we offered Firefox users a free opportunity to enjoy a live concert from Phosphorescent.

In addition to adding value to Firefox users these efforts are intended to support an open ecosystem. When users see such offers no data is being shared with a partner until users have made the choice to enter a relationship. We hope that this strategy sets a positive example.

A thread on Reddit offers some details: a user reported that Firefox was displaying an advertisement at the bottom of the New Tab Page.

It reads:

Ready to schedule that next family reunion? Here's a thank you from Firefox. Book your next hotel stay on Booking.com today and get a free $20 Amazon gifr card. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restrictions apply).

The attached "find a hotel" button loads the Booking.com website.

firefox ads new tab page
screenshot by https://www.reddit.com/user/ijustwantanfingname

The advertisement is powered by Firefox's Snippet functionality. The Snippet Service of Firefox is "intended to assemble and deliver content snippets" in Firefox.

Snippets may highlight new features of Firefox, offer seasonal greetings, or suggest other Mozilla projects to users of the browser.

The ads appear to be limited to certain geographical regions, e.g. the United States, at the time of writing. Reports indicate that the advertisement is displayed in release versions of the web browser.

Criticism

Advertisement in web browsers is a controversial topic; most browsers don't display native ads. Mozilla tried ads several times in Firefox in the past, e.g. in the form of sponsored tiles, and it backfired each time.

One issue that Firefox users may have with this new form of advertisement is that it comes totally unexpected. The Snippet feature has the following description in the options: updates from Mozilla and Firefox.

Ads are not mentioned; while it is possible that Mozilla forgot to update the description, it could be seen as deceptive by users of the browser.

As an organization that values privacy and choice, Mozilla is held to a higher standard than Google or Microsoft. One of the things that Mozilla needs to get right, and has not in the past, is that it needs to be very open and upfront about these kind of things.

Not highlighting that a particular feature could be used to display advertisement in the browser is the opposite of that.

Disabling snippets

firefox snippets ads

Firefox users may disable snippets in the web browser in the following way:

  1. Load about:preferences#home in the browser's address bar.
  2. Remove the checkmark from Snippets.

Closing Words

Mozilla needs to rethink its strategy in regards to advertisement in Firefox; the browser needs a toggle to disable advertisement entirely in the browser and better descriptions for preferences and options that may display ads.

The way advertisement is integrated in the browser right now is detrimental as it erodes trust in Mozilla.

Now You: What is your take on this? (via Deskmodder and Reddit)

Summary
Firefox with ads on New Tab Page
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Firefox with ads on New Tab Page
Description
Reports indicate that the Firefox browser displays advertisement on the browser's New Tab Page to some users of the browser.
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Comments

  1. Thorky said on December 31, 2018 at 11:43 am
    Reply

    I have no Snippets in Firefox 64, see it only in Firefox 65 Beta.

  2. Anonymous said on December 31, 2018 at 11:44 am
    Reply

    Firefox did already have ads, it’s called sponsored content from Pocket.

    Now all the gullible MozCorp lapdogs are going to repeat here that it is not possible to develop free software without being paid by an ad company like Google or having ads inside, a blatant lie when simply looking at the rest of the free software community, the one that doesn’t betray users all the time.

    1. Iron Heart said on December 31, 2018 at 2:42 pm
      Reply

      Apparently $500.000.000++ is not enough to develop a browser. Their poverty basically forces them to throw ads at the user, don’t you understand?

      source: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3240008/web-browsers/mozillas-record-2016-revenue-funded-its-firefox-quantum-browser.html

  3. hmmm said on December 31, 2018 at 11:53 am
    Reply
  4. pndy said on December 31, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Reply

    > while it is possible that Mozilla forgot to update the description, it could be seen as deceptive by users of the browser.

    Martin for love of gods, a single sane person including you knows that this is not done by accident but on the purpose. Don’t try be neutral by force, not after what Mozilla did in recent years – they just simply not deserve treating them in a polite way for really long time, but being pointed as not trustworthy. They hid this so regular user wouldn’t find it, they will obviously change this when enough buzz about “ads in Firefox” will be made and then, they’ll go with “oops, we’re sorry, a mistake has been made, we promise we won’t do it again” and then cycle will repeat itself somewhere else in the browser.

    1. Husten said on December 31, 2018 at 5:43 pm
      Reply

      Yes, I agree. The sad part is we can’t do a damn thing about it. Don’t want to switch to Chrome – so what’s left ?

      1. Anonymous said on January 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm
        Reply

        @Husten
        What’s left ? Ethical Firefox forks like Waterfox.

  5. crambie said on December 31, 2018 at 12:27 pm
    Reply

    It’s not really a surprise. I was thinking the other day that 2019 they’ll show their true face and prove they couldn’t care less about privacy only money, they started a bit early. As usual it’s do as I say not as I do.

  6. Yuliya said on December 31, 2018 at 12:35 pm
    Reply

    Ahahaha

    1. gwacks said on January 1, 2019 at 6:56 am
      Reply

      The Troll swallowed all this sh*t and laughed out satisfied. The Beast is struggling in its trouble. And the intelligent people still keep alternative choice in their user.js, even on a release channel:

      user_pref(“browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.disableSnippets”, true);
      user_pref(“browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.feeds.snippets”, false);
      user_pref(“browser.aboutHomeSnippets.updateUrl”, “”);

      from The Book of Mozilla, ??:??

  7. itsme said on December 31, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    Reply

    Again to turn it off you have to go in to about:config, which they know that hardly anyone knows about it or will touch it. And that makes it even worse. At this rate they won’t won’t have an options page it will all be in there.

  8. al said on December 31, 2018 at 12:51 pm
    Reply

    If browser companies don’t make money, they go out of business.

    1. Iron Heart said on December 31, 2018 at 2:39 pm
      Reply

      Mozilla receives loads of money from Google. Mozilla’s total revenue, including Google sponsorship, exceeds $500.000.000. Should be enough for developing a browser, no?

      source: https://www.computerworld.com/article/3240008/web-browsers/mozillas-record-2016-revenue-funded-its-firefox-quantum-browser.html

      1. Ken Saunders said on January 2, 2019 at 7:57 am
        Reply

        $500 million. “Should be enough for developing a browser, no”

        No. $500 million is nothing compared to others. There’s more to it than just developing a browser.
        Others have massive war chests to throw at their browsers and the marketing, and bundling of them.

        Alphabet Inc (Google)
        Operating income US $26.15 -billion- Mozilla as you say, $500 million
        Net income US $12.66 billion
        Total assets US $197.30 billion

        Microsoft
        Operating income US $35.05 -billion- Mozilla as you say, $500 million
        Net income US $16.57 billion
        Total assets US $258.84 billion

        Apple Inc.
        Operating income US $70.898 -billion(!!!)- Mozilla as you say, $500 million
        Net income US $59.531 billion
        Total assets US$365.725 billion

        The other browser makers buy bean bags, snacks, and provide daycare for their employees for what Mozilla’s revenue is.

      2. Iron Heart said on January 2, 2019 at 10:05 am
        Reply

        @Ken Saunders

        Your whole comment is pointless to the core. Do I really need to spell your error of thought out to you? Let’s see which products the respective corporations maintain

        Alphabet/Google: Android, Chrome, Chrome OS, YouTube, a huge network of cloud servers, Google Docs, a huge advertising network, Google Play Store and the associated downloading traffic requiring massive server farms, Chrome Web Store, Pixel smartphone development, Android TV, Google Home development, Google Search, GMail etc.

        Mozilla: Firefox, AMO

        Microsoft: Windows, MS Office, Xbox hardware and software development, Surface line, a huge network of cloud servers, Bing search, Outlook Online, Exchange servers and enterprise support, massive enterprise support divisions for all of their products except Xbox, Windows Store and Xbox Store with the associated traffic requiring massive server farms etc.

        Mozilla: Firefox, AMO

        Apple: iOS, macOS, iPhone, iPad, Mac computers in general, Apple Watch, HomePod, Apple TV, professional software like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, a large network of stores all across the world, iOS App Store and Mac App Store with the associated traffic requiring massive server farms, iCloud, a great amount of associated accessoirs for their devices etc.

        Mozilla: Firefox, AMO

        This is why your argument makes no sense at all. Yes, Mozilla’s budget is tiny compared to the others, but so is their area of business compared to the others. The comparison of the total numbers makes no sense whatsoever. Once you find the amount Google spends on Chrome development, Apple spends on Safari development, and Microsoft spends on Internet Explorer / Edge development, we’ll talk.

        Besides, the Computerworld article I linked to states that only $226 Mio. were spent on software development at Mozilla, which is not even 50% of their $500 Mio. total budget. Seems like the budget is more than sufficient indeed, as they are not even remotely approaching the upper limit of their budget yet. Their managers receive multi-million dollar salaries, by the way.

        Ken Saunders, if you don’t know what you are talking about, let it be.

    2. Stan said on December 31, 2018 at 4:44 pm
      Reply

      So one BILLION over three years wasn’t enough?
      They should rename the browser GOzilla.
      Anyone involved with the Firefox ‘community’ since the early days knows exactly what they’re up to, we gave them an inch and they are taking miles.

    3. come on now said on December 31, 2018 at 8:36 pm
      Reply

      They have many other ways that are less intrusive than this obvious in-your-face method.

      So you agree with having ads in your browser GUI?

      And you like to have an OS like windows 10 promoting Candy Crush Saga and other crap?

      It seems like you really want to be the customer of big companies and their partners…

      Nothing wrong, but I’d like to have the opportunity to Opt-in for being the tool of these

      guys.

      1. gwacks said on January 2, 2019 at 3:12 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        So only $500M makes you so jealous? Ten times of it should be better!

        @come on now

        “And you like to have an OS like windows 10 promoting Candy Crush Saga and other crap?”

        I won’t call it crap if it’s promotions of great ghacks’s deals.

        “…but I’d like to have the opportunity to Opt-in for being the tool of these”

        Partially agree. Free as in freedom, not free beer, dude.

  9. Tom Hawack said on December 31, 2018 at 1:00 pm
    Reply

    My take on these ads appearing randomly as to what it seems on some users’ Firefox New Tab page is that it is unfortunate that funding be managed this way. I don’t think users will accept it. It’s a bad move.

    Personally and as many users here but far less worldwide I block snippets as well as Firefox’s default Home and NewTab pages and use one and one page only located on my LocalHost which serves both, page in which I’ve included a home-made ‘fast Dial’, it’s called ‘Home Sweet Home’ and looks like this : http://funkyimg.com/i/2PJtv.jpg

    I provide this screenshot not to show up but to demonstrate that it is possible to keep the best of Firefox, tweak intensively code and graphics and make it ours.

    Should Firefox not be for years now my default browser, should I ignore how to suit it for my own requirements and before all should i discover this browser with ads on its New tab page that i’d pass my way, for sure. I’d rather pay as I had for the Opera browser (so many years ago!) than to face ads in the very browser’s core. No way.

  10. Robert G. said on December 31, 2018 at 1:06 pm
    Reply

    Thanks again Martin for the tip and for the news.

  11. user17843 said on December 31, 2018 at 1:30 pm
    Reply

    I wrote about this a couple of months ago that Mozilla is transitioning to those kind of new revenue models during 2019 and 2020, because everyone knows that search will not sustain a Desktop browser endlessly, since most revenue is quickly shifting to mobile and apps and the google search deal will be terminated in 2020 I think.

    They see this kind of ads as necessary to keep the browser alive long-term.

    1. Iron Heart said on December 31, 2018 at 7:02 pm
      Reply

      > They see this kind of ads as necessary to keep the browser alive long-term.

      Firefox won’t be kept alive “long-term”, for technical reasons. Chrome has 70%+ market share and uses the Blink engine. Opera uses Blink, too. And so does Brave, Vivaldi, Chromium etc. Microsoft has announced that Edge will be switching to Blink early next year. Sooner than we think Blink is going to have 90%+ market share. Website admins will optimize for Blink and for Blink only. The last remaining alternative rendering engines with a combined market share of roughly 10% Won’t be tested against one by one for time / efficiency reasons.

      Mozilla is going to create a Blink-based browser eventually and Firefox will be its name, but it will only be a shell and won’t have anything in common with Firefox as we know it. This is basically inevitable. For the masses, Firefox has no advantage to speak of, and Chrome is available on all platforms for which Firefox is available.

      Firefox has a third of the market share it once had, and Blink has a de facto monopoly. Mozilla is going to monetize the hell out of Firefox while they still can, and then they will gut if for FireChrome.

      I am sure some people (idealists) are going to disagree here, but this is how I think it will play out in the end.

      1. VioletMoon said on January 1, 2019 at 5:45 pm
        Reply

        @ironheart–“Firefox won’t be kept alive ‘long-term’, for technical reasons. Chrome has 70%+ market share and uses the Blink engine. Opera uses Blink, too. And so does Brave, Vivaldi, Chromium etc. Microsoft has announced that Edge will be switching to Blink early next year. Sooner than we think Blink is going to have 90%+ market share.”

        At first, the reasoning here appears correct; however, my first thought was of Apple and its standing as the most prosperous company on earth depending on market conditions. Apple only controls 10% of the market for it’s OS and 15% for its iPhone. For “technical” and financial reasons, investors choose Apple over MSFT. Apple isn’t going to disappear from the scene time soon.

        Firefox has a solid base of users who will simply thank Martin for the preferences tip and move along in peace. [One can disable Pocket ads in the same area.]

        Whether Mozilla deliberately misguided users in order to benefit from advertising revenue sounds like some conspiracy theory like the US invades Middle Eastern countries for the sole purpose of destabilizing regimes and forcing other countries to deal with the fallout which, in turn, stabilizes the American economy.

        “Maybe and maybe not.”

        https://www.netmarketshare.com

      2. user17843 said on January 2, 2019 at 6:16 pm
        Reply

        @Iron Heart

        No, they will probably keep Gecko as long as possible. The situation you describe is true, but Mozilla does not have any other choice than going with Gecko for now. This is what defines them. If they switch engines, there will be no point in Mozilla anymore and they will lose lots of users. The CEO just published a post in their blog about Edge and how their own engine is so essential.

        So I guess we’ll have at least 1- 3 more years with Gecko. At one point they will definitely switch to chromium, but that doesn’t have to be a downside for Firefox and the product will continue to exist.

      3. Cryo said on January 11, 2019 at 4:23 am
        Reply

        The same thing happened with Opera. Opera was my primary browser for many years, and I found it to be the best “Internet suite” around, even if it was late to add support for certain features like extensions that helped make Firefox popular, and occasionally encountered site optimization issues due to its relatively low usage share. The browser itself was packed with features and customization options though, while being light on system resources.

        Over time though, the management changed, the founders left, and the people in charge became more concerned about maximizing profits than maintaining a unique product with a dedicated user base. So, it was eventually announced that they would be switching rendering engines from their own to Webkit. Initially, my feelings were a bit mixed about that, since their existing Presto engine was arguably better in some ways, but the move to Webkit did have the potential to improve site compatibility and the size of their extension library, so I was cautiously optimistic.

        Then, the beta for the new Opera came out, and it was literally just a bare-bones Chromium reskin with what amounted to a couple small extensions built in, and a couple other standard Chromium features cut out. It in no way resembled the Internet suite that once was, and pretty much everything that kept Opera’s dedicated users with the browser for years was stripped out. They didn’t just switch rendering engines, but effectively discontinued developing their browser and replaced it with a low-maintenance reskin of a browser developed by other companies. I’m sure those in charge got a good pay raise from not having to fund browser development anymore though, while still being able to profit from search engine placement and such.

        I quickly dropped it as my primary browser for Firefox, and later a Firefox derivative. And it looks to me like Firefox is moving in the same direction. Much like Opera was beginning to do in their later years, they are starting to cut out features and mess with the interface in questionable ways, and it doesn’t seem like they care much about how the long-term users who promoted their browser for years feel about it. The next step might be to cut out that expensive browser development, and just become a generic, low-maintenance Chromium clone to maximize profits. After all, their users will have pretty much nowhere left to go, since if Firefox switches to Chromium, hardly anyone is going to bother testing their web sites for any other rendering engine.

  12. kstev99 said on December 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm
    Reply

    I haven’t seen any ads, and probably wont, since I have ALL of the boxes, not just snippets, unchecked.

    What is wrong with just starting with a new BLANK tab instead of preloading it with a bunch of garbage? If I want to search, I’ll go to a search page, If I want to see most visited sites I’ll look at history.

  13. Gerard said on December 31, 2018 at 3:49 pm
    Reply

    It’s very easy to critize Mozilla for this sort of thing. But how many users would be willing to pay Mozilla for a completyely ad-free Firefox version? Not enough, I presume. So how do users expect Mozilla to finance its costly free software development?
    Mozilla’s Firefox (about 10 % desktop/laptop market share; negligible in the mobile/tablet market) is the last major defense against Google-Chrome’s total domination of the browser market and consequently the web. We shouldn’t forget this. I certainly don’t want a Google web.

    1. ??????????????????? said on January 1, 2019 at 9:24 am
      Reply

      And how Mozilla’s web is any different than Google’s web if they do the same? Send you personal ads based on your history? Why would I want to use this new Mozilla’s web? It s*cks.

      1. John Fenderson said on January 2, 2019 at 7:34 pm
        Reply

        @???????????????????: ” how Mozilla’s web is any different than Google’s web if they do the same? ”

        They don’t do the same. The difference between the two is that Google slurps your data (in part) to produce the targeting. Mozilla does not — your details don’t leave the browser.

    2. gwacks said on January 1, 2019 at 6:51 pm
      Reply

      @Gerard

      Agreed. TBH, I don’t like such actions (kind of Dark Pattern) either even if it’s just a so-called “experiment” targeting users in specific regions for limited time, but it’s no problem for me to compromise with reality to a certain extent, not to mention that I (and we) still keep the options to disable it via my user.js, or just switch to the ESR channel.

      I don’t even hate the ads, promotions like the ghacks deals sometimes are very userful. The more important reason I use an “adblocker” (to be exaclty, uBo+uMtrx, I’d rather call them browser-level firewalls) is to protect my security and privacy, stop the spies of malicious advertising/tracking networks. And we indeed also have some (not many though) moral advertisers who give users strong privacy protections according to the EFF. Send… the push of ads (I’ll call some of them offers) is one-time fixed shot to users’ browsers with regular adjustment, all the processing happenes LOCALLY on users’ PCs, so the right statement should be “Show you personal ads based on your history LOCALLY”, none of their history really leaks to Mozilla or any other third-parties, that’s different. I’m even glad to consider enabling it if that would really help Mozilla some way. Let me be clear, Even if Mozilla would become another EVIL advertising company with its browser production in the future (hardly to imagine), that is still much better than a situation dominated by one EvilCorp.

      I think anyone who dropped their criticism BS words and thought it is unquestionable and undoubtable, should really read the ghacks’ *WE NEED YOUR HELP* one more time:

      Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. **The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site**.
      We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
      If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution

      If everyone would be willing to donate (or “pay” if you like) to Mozilla, why they keeping tired of finding new sources of revenue to get rid of the control and negative PR impact of EvilCorps? A compromise doesn’t mean full approval, doesn’t indicate not trying to change current situation, making things better.

      If you could really do better than them right now, you are eligible to criticize them with dignity. That said, Bullsh1t is cheap, show me your scheme, make me convinced and shut up.

      Could you?

    3. gwacks said on January 2, 2019 at 5:43 am
      Reply

      So my long comment didn’t display without any reason again.
      Could you have a look and try to recover it, Martin? Thanks!

    4. John Fenderson said on January 2, 2019 at 5:21 pm
      Reply

      @Gerard: ” But how many users would be willing to pay Mozilla for a completyely ad-free Firefox version?”

      I don’t know. I do know that I’ve personally donated quite a lot of time and money to Mozilla over the years, in large part to help support Firefox. I’ve stopped after 57, though, as Firefox after that is no longer a browser that meets my needs, and having that opinion resulted in me being effectively driven out of the Mozilla community.

      1. gwacks said on January 3, 2019 at 7:33 am
        Reply

        @John Fenderson

        Hi John, you’re always a gentle and reasonable man, not some vulgar guy like me with sh1tty English you know xd. But I think even the donation thing is secondary. The real core of this problem lies in current model of digital economy (aka Surveillance Capitalism) created by Google, and promoted by Facebook and China, which is unethical and immoral. I’ll support them if anybody really decides to break current situation and bring some new fresh air. Maybe they would be no longer that “pure” as before in this contest, but the final (no matter better or worse) result must be I think, worth such risks.

        We can’t go back and, Wir müssen wissen — wir werden wissen.

      2. John Fenderson said on January 3, 2019 at 5:48 pm
        Reply

        @gwacks:

        I agree entirely with your comments here.

  14. YT said on December 31, 2018 at 4:27 pm
    Reply

    How did you remove Pocket from your preferences page completely?

  15. Anonymous said on December 31, 2018 at 4:39 pm
    Reply

    Execs need money to go on vacation

  16. peerer said on December 31, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    Reply

    so this is how it begins
    R.I.P. firefox :(

  17. ilev said on December 31, 2018 at 4:55 pm
    Reply

    I use only Firefox ESR portable. I am sure Mozilla won’t touch ESR with ads.

  18. Dilly Dilly said on December 31, 2018 at 5:28 pm
    Reply

    We can only hope.

  19. Dilly Dilly said on December 31, 2018 at 5:28 pm
    Reply

    Please someone fork firefox already.

    1. James said on January 3, 2019 at 4:11 am
      Reply

      Where have you been? It’s already been forked half a dozen times… Palemoon, Waterfox, etc. Try Palemoon for the older Firefox appearance and feel. Try Waterfox for an esr without Mozilla crap in it.

  20. Kevin said on December 31, 2018 at 6:08 pm
    Reply

    As a Firefox user, let’s spread this news and get them lots of bad PR for doing something like this; as it is the only way we can fight back. And no, I am not amused by calling advertisements “suggestions”.

  21. Sebas said on December 31, 2018 at 8:02 pm
    Reply

    Eroding and eroding SJW browser. When they remove the about:config we will be flooded with these nonsense. is there any Firefox addon like this Google one: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dark-new-tab/mnjmegebbljjhpljjfjmkhgmokpmdbpo

    “A minimalistic grey new tab page for Google Chrome. No external network requests. No analytics. No tracking. No bullshit”.

    1. Anonymous said on January 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm
      Reply

      SJ is not compatible with the parasitic, privacy destructive, censoring, and ultra wealthy advertisement industry having as much power as it has today.

      You can set a blank new page in Firefox options, no need for an addon.

  22. Nozilla CEO said on December 31, 2018 at 8:30 pm
    Reply

    Ho ho ho Happy New Year with a Mozilla Fork, people!!

  23. clake said on December 31, 2018 at 10:44 pm
    Reply

    Most linux distros compile ff from source, thus can make feasible changes, like whack some of the code and/or change default settings to more privacy oriented values.

  24. Joseph said on January 1, 2019 at 12:33 am
    Reply

    If Librefox is going to strip out pocket and snippet then I am going to move sooner rather than later. It’s just more noise to avoid and it will only work if Firefox increases its tracking and directs content your way based on what it knows about you.

    1. crambie said on January 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm
      Reply

      I thought Librefox already did as does Waterfox. However for me Librefox is a bit too locked down at the moment. They consider any background traffic as bad, including sync. Whilst that makes sense it’s also inconvenient if you have more than one machine. I’m not going to setup my own sync server.

      1. John Fenderson said on January 2, 2019 at 7:37 pm
        Reply

        @crambie: “They consider any background traffic as bad, including sync.”

        That sounds perfect to me!

  25. ULBoom said on January 1, 2019 at 1:17 am
    Reply

    No snippets option in 64.

    I did delete the URL in about:config. If snippets come back in 65, there will some way to stop them.

    I’ve used New Tab Homepage for years with my homepage now being DuckDuck. Used to be google. Surprised most users don’t want a search page to open when the browser starts and a logical extension would be for new tabs (vs.links opened deliberately in a new tab) to open the same way.

    In the work environment, regardless of browser, I’ve never seen anyone use anything but google as their home page and yes, it could always be changed. Hmmm.

    All those stupid tiles are pointless, just bookmark things instead. Tiles do put stuff in your face which probably counts as a hit whether you click or not. More stupid.

  26. Tamris said on January 1, 2019 at 1:36 am
    Reply

    Ugh are there any good Firefox forks that are free of ads and other trash Mozilla is putting into Firefox recently? (except Pale Moon and Basilisk)

    I only know of Waterfox but not sure how good it is.

    1. Anonymous said on January 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm
      Reply

      Why not Pale Moon and Basilisk? Their platform is the only one with actual independent development.

      1. Stan said on January 1, 2019 at 7:31 pm
        Reply

        Have you visited their forum?

        Charming place, astounding that the boss allows a certain developer to abuse users carte blanche.

        That’s why not.

      2. Anonymous said on January 2, 2019 at 2:42 am
        Reply

        And people call us, leftists, snowflakes… Pfft! Would you rather be abused by Mozilla Corporation/Google or this certain individual that has been (rightfully) censored by Moonchild several times? How could this influence a browser choice? Even if it does, one shouldn’t be ungrateful for the great work he’s done. The Add-ons site wouldn’t exist without him. Pale Moon 28 wouldn’t be materialized.

        Stop making reasons up. Stop the stockholm syndrome. Support the sole and needed communitary effort that UXP is. Help make it bigger and better so we can have the vision that Mozilla has forbidden us.

      3. Stan said on January 2, 2019 at 5:08 pm
        Reply

        “How could this influence a browser choice?”

        If you have to ask, you’re clueless. (rolls eyes)

    2. John Fenderson said on January 2, 2019 at 6:27 pm
      Reply

      @Tamris: “I only know of Waterfox but not sure how good it is”

      Give Waterfox a try and see if it meets your needs. Waterfox is, essentially, pre-57 Firefox. It’s my daily driver these days, and it makes me very, very happy. It might or might not please you, but there’s no way to know until you try!

  27. Vrai said on January 1, 2019 at 1:44 am
    Reply

    smh
    Will they never learn?
    Someone on the Firefox team is determined to sell advertising.
    It almost seems as if someone from the Microsoft Update team is giving them tips on how to raise revenue.
    Such a shame really :(

  28. supergirl said on January 1, 2019 at 2:12 am
    Reply

    OK Im an old time-y ‘Pinko’.
    Im convinced that Capitalism must destroy the earth. It can do nothing else.
    To think our civilization will probably be destroyed before we
    can find out if any other ‘intelligent’ life exists out there.

    What a waste.

    About the question….
    I would prefer Mozilla NOT get their funding from Google.
    The problem with Capitalist style leadership is they all seem
    to think they need to Screw you to get their money.

    Were not ‘Valued customers’ were marks,patsys,rubes…etc.

    Dont be underhanded…My only recourse to funding Mozilla is thru as revenue.
    so make an OPT-IN separate page that CATERs to me….
    Even a pop-up that I can postpone til the end if Im in a hurry.
    Ask me what I want to see at that time.
    Im always looking for computer-y stuff deals.

    Be above board,be honest, treat me like a friend.
    make me WANT to Help you!

    Im not a Chump for you to put 1 over on.
    Wouldnt a little bit of decency from a www entity be like a breath of freash air..?

  29. John IL said on January 1, 2019 at 2:26 am
    Reply

    I think we can expect a ad free Firefox when anyone who uses Firefox is willing to pay a subscription fee for using it. Mozilla needs working revenue to continue its development of Firefox and Thunderbird. So I figure this will probably increase as Mozilla juggles accepting money from Google and finding less conflicting ways to earn revenue.

    1. Iron Heart said on January 1, 2019 at 11:09 am
      Reply

      So you are basically saying that Mozilla should replace the Google ad industry money by inserting their own ads? Makes no sense.

      The Google deal at least only makes Mozilla use Google as the default search engines. If the new way includes ads on the new tab page, I am out. Regardless of whether I could disable it or not. I do not support adware in general, and if Firefox continues down that path, it is adware.

  30. aaa said on January 1, 2019 at 4:54 am
    Reply

    I’ve been with Firefox since the beginning. Go back to 2004 and you’d see Firefox was a huge community effort, we had campaigns and events to spread the word of the Firefox, every major release (1.0, 1.5, 2.0) had a day for celebration. Now that is gone, Firefox is no longer has a strong sense community. Firefox has become a product and a service. Every new update is just a incremental number now. Mozilla Foundation who???… Mozilla Corp is control. Mozilla has lost its way for sure. Now we get advertising and other crap that never pass back in the day, What a crying shame.

    1. Rayan said on January 1, 2019 at 2:15 pm
      Reply

      Things are different now, this year you will see 7 major releases, while in the past you would see one major release every year, i wouldn’t expect them to celebrate all of these releases.

      “Every new update is just a incremental number now” because you have shorter development period compared to the past, so at best you will see small changes.

      1. John Fenderson said on January 2, 2019 at 7:42 pm
        Reply

        @Rayan: “this year you will see 7 major releases, while in the past you would see one major release every year”

        I miss the past. All of these products jumping on the “rapid release” train have caused my nothing but strife and has not brought me any real benefits. From my point of view, it’s all loss and no gain.

        I wish we’d go back to the days of a release every year or two.

    2. Stan said on January 1, 2019 at 4:19 pm
      Reply

      “Go back to 2004 and you’d see Firefox was a huge community effort, we had campaigns and events to spread the word of the Firefox, every major release (1.0, 1.5, 2.0) had a day for celebration”.
      Yep, and they screwed us…remember the successful ‘download campaign’ to get Fx in the Guinness Book of Records, the success of which led to Google millions ?
      The community did that, users and Extension/Theme authors not MozCo lawyers, we were suckers.

  31. ShintoPlasm said on January 1, 2019 at 7:57 am
    Reply

    Happy New Year, Mozilla… hahaha

  32. crambie said on January 1, 2019 at 12:27 pm
    Reply

    It’s quite hilarious that they’ve come out and said it it’s not an advert it’s a gift to show their appreciation to ff users. They also say they it wasn’t a paid for promotion but didn’t say that they didn’t receive commission, so it’s basically the same thing. They must think that their users are so stupid.

    Their campaign of pretending that if people don’t donate ff will disappear seems to have worked though. Despite not a penny of user donations going to ff development (some goes to very unsavoury groups the sjw’s at mozilla agree with) you have plenty of people saying we need to donate so they can afford to develop ff without having to resort to this sort of thing.

  33. Anonymous said on January 1, 2019 at 5:00 pm
    Reply

    About the Mozilla statement : so this time we didn’t even get an apology or a false promise not to do it again, we got an insult to our intelligence pretending it’s not an ad and worse, that it’s a positive example of what to do. Expect a lot more and worse soon then.

    Burn, Mozillads, burn ! (that’s me thanking you)

  34. Comment1 said on January 1, 2019 at 5:55 pm
    Reply

    If you don’t like what they are doing use a different browser. Mozilla won’t listen to you, they are in the business for making a lot of money. Community, no Profit, all this is bla bla. Look at the facts, look what they are actually implementing. Then you know for real what’s going on.

    I will keep FF, it is not a bad browser and still has a lot of add ons and workarounds to make me feel relatively comfortable using it. My thanks go out to the guys who develop these add ons and sites like Ghacks for their workarounds. If they wouldn’t exist I certainly would not use FF. But for now I’m fine and enjoy a browser I can still jiggle the way I want it. Well, almost.

  35. John said on January 1, 2019 at 6:42 pm
    Reply

    I’m taking the same approach I take with Windows 10- if I can turn ads off in options or settings, I’ll keep using it ad-free. I’m not switching my OS or my browser or my anything if I can disable the ad mechanism easily and I never see another ad unless I reinstall or setup a different PC.

    If eventually the ads can’t be turned off, I’ll move to Linux and/or a Firefox or Chrome fork (Depending on what has to be done to avoid the ads). I used minor browsers in the past as my primary browser for a stretch of years, so I have credibility on that.

    In this case, I literally new saw the ad because I already had that setting disabled. :)

    Firefox doing a once a year attempt to sneak ads into the browser a new way can’t possibly be worth in revenue the hit they take in public relations and brand favorability. Its pretty stupid when one thinks about it- The only way they’d make big money off ads is to keep integrating them instead of backing down, and accept the decreased marketshare from the backlash. If they aren’t willing to dig their heels in, and are going to back down every time (As has historically been the case), why keep riling the natives?

  36. Zak said on January 1, 2019 at 10:56 pm
    Reply

    Mozilla is just itching to monetize their dwindling user base.

  37. Peterc said on January 2, 2019 at 3:49 am
    Reply

    *Now* I get it. Those banks and resorts I’d never heard of who kept calling me on my cell phone were NOT in fact circumventing the “Do Not Call” registry. You see, it turns out they weren’t cold-calling me to market a line of credit or a vacation. They were calling to *thank* me. I feel a lot better now.

    But in all seriousness, it takes *massive amounts of money* to try and keep up with Google and copy everything it does with Chrome, *without* actually copying Google’s proprietary code. Donations and search-engine kickbacks just aren’t going to cut it. Ergo, ads.

    1. John said on January 2, 2019 at 5:38 pm
      Reply

      They can’t copy Google’s proprietary code. The Chromium code is not proprietary, it’s open source. If it was proprietary they wouldn’t be able to copy it.

  38. John Fenderson said on January 2, 2019 at 5:14 pm
    Reply

    “This snippet was an experiment to provide more value to Firefox users through offers provided by a partner. It was not a paid placement or advertisement.”

    This sort of statement really pisses me off. Paid or not, those are advertisements, and I think it’s very disingenuous to portray them as existing in order to “bring value to users”.

    My stance on in-browser advertising? My objection to advertising is the tracking. If Mozilla is doing this without tracking (either by Mozilla or the advertisers), that removes my main problem with the idea.

  39. Anonymous said on May 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm
    Reply

    i get a New Tab ads with p*rn videos and +18 games please fixed the ads i don’t like it, this is terrible.

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