Mozilla announced the introduction of the "Promoted Add-ons Pilot" program on September 9, 2020 on the official Add-ons blog. The pilot program will run between September and November 2020, and may be turned into a full service for developers of Firefox add-ons afterwards.
The main idea behind the new service is to provide add-on developers and companies with options to have their add-ons manually reviewed by Mozilla and as a consequence, promoted on the Mozilla website.
Called Promoted Add-ons, the system enables developers to get a verified badge on their add-ons profile page and their add-ons promoted on the Mozilla AMO hompage. Developers may pay Mozilla for the review only, and thus also the verified badge, and also to get their add-ons listed on the homepage of the Add-ons site.
Jorge Villalobos, product manager for addons.mozilla.org, notes that Mozilla would love to review all extensions for free for policy compliance but cannot because "the cost would be prohibitive" as reviews are done by humans.
Some developers have asked Mozilla if there is a way to get add-ons reviewed and featured on the site according to Villalobos, and the pilot program tries to find out if there is enough interest to warrant launching the new service for all developers.
Add-on developers and companies may sign-up for the pilot program if they are based in the following countries: United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, or Singapore.
The other requirements:
Mozilla plans to accept up to 12 add-ons for inclusion in the pilot program as test capacities are limited.
Mozilla changed the add-on reviewing process in the past from manual reviews to automated reviews. It then introduced the recommended extensions program as a way to promote certain add-ons for Firefox that are exceptional. These add-ons get reviewed manually.
The Promoted Add-ons test pilot program looks like a paid extension to the recommended extensions program. The core differences are that developers need to pay Mozilla to get the verified badge and the promotion on the homepage, and that the only requirement for inclusion is that the add-on needs to be listed on the Add-ons website and pass manual review. These add-ons won't be promoted in the Firefox web browser it appears, at least nothing of the sort was mentioned by Mozilla in the announcement.
Mozilla does not charge developers during the test period but will do so afterwards. Pricing has not been mentioned.
The introduction of the recommended extensions system has created a two-tier add-ons system already. While pricing for the new Promoted Add-ons system has not been announced, it is possible that the service will predominantly be used by companies and large developers who earn money from their extensions in one way or another.
The only benefit that Firefox users have is that more add-ons will get reviewed manually by Mozilla.
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