Mozilla appears to be testing new tab page background ads in Firefox Mobile

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 2, 2022
Updated • Mar 3, 2022
Added link to Mozilla blog post.
Firefox
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When you change the background images of Firefox Beta on Android currently, you may notice that some of them are from the Disney Pixar movie Turning Red.

firefox background ads mobile

Twitter user ThePfaffanater was the first to spot the addition to the Firefox browser. Firefox Beta, the browser used by the user, displayed two images of Disney's upcoming movie among the collection of background images.

Firefox Beta users may switch backgrounds of the new tab page with a simple tab on the Firefox logo on the new tab page. The ads were not displayed as the default background, but they are part of the background collection.

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A linked website, called True Colors, suggests that the background images are linked to a campaign. The site has a trailer for the Disney movie, links to getting Firefox, sweepstakes, sticker images, and some other interactive elements. There is also an option to get the Turning Red theme for the desktop version of Firefox.

I tried to replicate the finding in Firefox for Android, but could not. Neither Firefox, Firefox Beta or Firefox Nightly were displaying these backgrounds on my device. It is possible that the campaign is limited to a certain geographical region, e.g., United States, or that it is limited in other ways.

This is not the first time that Mozilla is dabbling with media promotions. The infamous Mr. Robot campaign may come to mind, which backfired because of the way it was carried out.

Closing Words

Displaying movie, TV, gaming or comic backgrounds in browsers and on desktops or mobile devices is quite popular. Some Firefox users will be up in arms about this, others may like it or never see it at all, considering that the backgrounds are not displayed by default.

Mozilla needs to find ways to earn money outside of its search deals. The organization acquired or created several products that contribute millions of Dollars to the revenue, but it pales in comparison to the money it receives yearly from companies such as Google.

Ads in Firefox are a no-go for some users. Mozilla should consider adding a clear switch to Firefox that prevents any type of ad from being added to the browser.

Mozilla has not confirmed the campaign yet published a blog post about this in February. According to it, Mozilla entered into a partnership with Disney and Pixar. Details about the partnership have not been revealed. We don't know the scope of the test nor whether Mozilla is gaining any compensation for it.

Now You: background wallpapers that promote media, what is your take on this?

Summary
Mozilla appears to be testing new tab page background ads in Firefox Mobile
Article Name
Mozilla appears to be testing new tab page background ads in Firefox Mobile
Description
When you change the background images of Firefox Beta on Android currently, you may notice that some of them are from the Disney Pixar movie Turning Red.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Kaurl Marcs said on March 2, 2022 at 8:29 am
    Reply

    well, money is what matters for Mozilla, that’s why they love Google’s money.

    1. kuro68k said on March 2, 2022 at 2:14 pm
      Reply

      I wouldn’t mind if they actually fixed Firefox Mobile so I could use it. It’s still broken on Pixel phones, fonts render too small on many pages. It’s stopping me switching away from Chrome on desktop too because I want sync between mobile and desktop.

  2. beemeup5 said on March 2, 2022 at 8:32 am
    Reply

    These are the best ad-free, privacy-focused Android browsers I’ve used so far:

    Privacy Browser: https://www.stoutner.com/privacy-browser-android/

    Bromite: https://www.bromite.org/

    Iceraven: https://github.com/fork-maintainers/iceraven-browser

    I don’t browse the web on my phone very often, but when I do, I prefer simple, clean browsers that don’t require all sorts of permissions a browser shouldn’t really need.

    1. ULBoom said on March 2, 2022 at 9:38 pm
      Reply

      Try FF Focus. Works on iOS, too, sort of. There’s a Focus privacy extension you can add to Safari that shuts it up.

      OT but to someone who has played around with many browsers, Safari is one of the most messed up things I’ve ever used.

      1. beemeup5 said on March 3, 2022 at 11:40 am
        Reply

        @ULBoom

        I’ve used Firefox Focus before, back in the early days when it was a wrapper for the WebView component. I liked the UI and how light it was, but stopped using it when newer versions just wouldn’t load on my old phone for some reason. When my new phone arrives I might give it another go and see if it’s better than Iceraven which I use as a backup browser in case my two main browsers don’t work with a specific site.

    2. keishi said on March 3, 2022 at 1:21 am
      Reply
      1. beemeup5 said on March 3, 2022 at 12:16 pm
        Reply

        @keishi

        Haven’t tried Mull before. I’ll give it a shot and if I like it more than Iceraven then it’ll probably be my new backup browser.

  3. Iron Heart said on March 2, 2022 at 9:14 am
    Reply

    So, they are taking a page out of Brave’s playbook? Brave has background ads on every 4th new tab, but listen up fellas: I am getting BAT for those background ads, if I keep them enabled. Where is my reward for keeping Mozilla’s ads enabled? … What? There isn’t one I hear ya say? No deal then, haha.

    1. Iron Heart said on March 2, 2022 at 9:24 am
      Reply

      PS: Is that Firefox’s tombstone or something? https://truecolors.firefox.com/

      1. Billy DinCow said on March 2, 2022 at 4:14 pm
        Reply

        Firefox True colors is that it is managed by people who support censorship and deplatforming. They recently were talking about how important is to ‘curate’ the YouTube suggestions because apparently people are so stupid they can’t skip ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’, as they call it, themselves.
        Or people can’t just believe whatever they want because everyone has to think like Mozilla.

        Those are Mozilla truecolors, they don’t care about their users, all the changes are made it’s like they are turning Firefox in Chrome, they even support manifest v3.
        Their telemetry is just as bad as Chrome and that’s why most tweaks and forks focus on the privacy and all that stuff.

        The worst part is there are some clueless people who will support Firefox because “we need a chromium alternative” like if that will eventually make Mozilla stop firing developers while their executives get higher salaries, you know, care about who develops the software not the clowns in suit sitting on a chair doing pretty much nothing.

    2. Yash said on March 2, 2022 at 9:46 am
      Reply

      Hey easy man. Brave for Android used to display sponsored images as well in DEFAULT settings. Haven’t checked it for months so not aware of current scenario. And I’m pretty sure it never added any BAT s***. Plus this is Firefox Beta. Pretty sure it doesn’t include any personalizatiom either like Brave does on local basis.

      1. Iron Heart said on March 2, 2022 at 6:21 pm
        Reply

        @Yash

        > Brave for Android used to display sponsored images as well in DEFAULT settings.

        So does Firefox Beta on Android, soon to roll out on the stable channel (this is what a Beta is for, they are testing for stable).

        > And I’m pretty sure it never added any BAT s***.

        > Free money baaaaaaad

        Whatever you say, buddy. Getting rewarded for this type of ad vs. not getting rewarded for the very same thing… Hard choice, my delusional friend.

        > Pretty sure it doesn’t include any personalizatiom either like Brave does on local basis.

        The background ads in Brave’s new tabs are not personalized either. Only the ad notifications are personalized using a local algorithm(!), which is not a privacy issue. Firefox also does personalization on a local basis for its Pocket Stories on the New Tab Page, this is what the settings…

        browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.discoverystream.recs.personalized

        browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.discoverystream.spocs.personalized

        …control, after all. It is also opt-out rather than opt-in in Brave. Again, you are delusional. You are getting the very same thing with Firefox minus the pro-user crypto reward, lol.

      2. Yash said on March 2, 2022 at 6:34 pm
        Reply

        “Whatever you say, buddy. Getting rewarded for this type of ad vs. not getting rewarded for the very same thing… Hard choice”

        You don’t get any BAT for sponsored images in Brave. That was the point, you’re welcome.

        For these reasons I use Iceraven and Mull.

        Plus these wallpapers will not be personalized, they’re more like a fixed set of images – which will increase over time. This is totally different to Brave which doesn’t have a fixed set. Plus again you don’t get any BAT for that.

        For these reasons I couldn’t be bothered by what Mozilla is doing. Even if images are partnered, that is good coz they ain’t personalized and are limited.

      3. Iron Heart said on March 3, 2022 at 1:22 am
        Reply

        @Yash

        > You don’t get any BAT for sponsored images in Brave.

        You do get BAT for them. I know this because I actually use Brave.

        > Plus these wallpapers will not be personalized, they’re more like a fixed set of images – which will increase over time. This is totally different to Brave which doesn’t have a fixed set.

        Brave’s ad background wallpapers are not personalized. Only the opt-in local ad notifications are personalized. I have no idea how often I need to repeat that.

        > For these reasons I couldn’t be bothered by what Mozilla is doing.

        It’s just shit because the user has no incentive to use / allow it.

      4. Yash said on March 3, 2022 at 7:38 pm
        Reply

        “You do get BAT for them. I know this because I actually use Brave.”

        On Android?

        Absolutely certain that is not the case coz that was the first thing I tried in Brave for which I didn’t receive any BAT.

    3. Road Runner 365 said on March 2, 2022 at 10:27 am
      Reply

      Ad supported web browsers have been around for around 22 years: https://wikiless.org/wiki/History_of_the_Opera_web_browser?lang=en#Version_5

      1. Iron Heart said on March 2, 2022 at 12:17 pm
        Reply
      2. Road Runner 365 said on March 3, 2022 at 1:39 pm
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        @Iron Heart

        /u/reservecrate is that you, getting downvoted for dumb statements again

        https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/t4fyn3/i_guess_firefox_is_testing_full_backround_ads_on/hz0wmk8/

      3. Road Runner 365 said on March 3, 2022 at 3:36 pm
        Reply

        > /u/nextbern, is that you?

        YES! THAT IS ME! GUARANTEED! Thank you very much, * [Editor: removed, please stay polite].

    4. Anonymous said on March 3, 2022 at 1:17 am
      Reply

      You should feel bad supporting crypto powered browser

      1. Anonymous said on March 3, 2022 at 9:56 am
        Reply

        Specifically why , all cryptos are not bad for environment

      2. Iron Heart said on March 3, 2022 at 10:58 am
        Reply

        @Anonymous

        > You should feel bad supporting crypto powered browser

        Brave is not a crypto miner.

      3. Pet said on March 3, 2022 at 12:58 pm
        Reply

        I think you should shake your head. Something is so wrong in there dude

      4. Iron Heart said on March 3, 2022 at 2:45 pm
        Reply

        > I think you should shake your head. Something is so wrong in there dude

        You can’t cope with reality, brother. What this article discusses is the very same thing Brave does minus the crypto reward. Deal with it.

  4. Hypocrites said on March 2, 2022 at 10:41 am
    Reply

    The Mozilla-Karen supreme overlord needs new golden toilets for her castles, I see.

    1. Anonymous said on March 3, 2022 at 9:55 am
      Reply

      Ha ha

  5. walker said on March 2, 2022 at 12:05 pm
    Reply

    > Where is my reward for keeping Mozilla’s ads enabled?
    C’mon the joy of using it :)

    1. ULBoom said on March 2, 2022 at 9:33 pm
      Reply

      As a friend who made me a bowl of the hottest Thai soup stuff I’ve ever had said, “Just be quiet and like it. You will.”

  6. Neutrino said on March 2, 2022 at 12:54 pm
    Reply

    Brave creators were smarter to appeal to the human greed – they understood just giving a browser for free was not enough to get the big numbers. They needed an irresistible boost. The brave’ success has much less to do with it’s privacy prowess than people think.

    The commies at Marxzilla, on the other hand, are so stuck in their selfish tiny worlds; whatever creativity they’ve ever had is now gone. They’ve been choking it slowly and consistently throughout the years. And now their only way is: whatever sticks… as ugly and stupid as it might be.

  7. Sebas said on March 2, 2022 at 1:26 pm
    Reply

    I seldom use a browser on my cellphone, so the built in Samsung browser with the adguard extension and qwant lite search engine is good enough for me. Yes Google sees I am looking to the weather forecast and a stupid Dutch website about politics, for having a good laugh about the funniest comments in The Netherlands.. Whatever.

    1. Dumbledalf said on March 2, 2022 at 3:44 pm
      Reply

      You are still the product. The worst thing in privacy is people saying “I don’t mind them spying on me, I have nothing to hide.”

      That’s the first step of giving yourself in to the monopoly. And also why all these companies can get away with this.

      If a larger percentage of people were educated to guard their privacy, these companies will either be left with their hands tied or sabotage all privacy-oriented competition, root them out and shut them down just to force people back on their products.

      1. StirKrunch said on March 2, 2022 at 6:15 pm
        Reply

        @Dumbledalf

        Tell me what’s worst then… people saying “I have nothing to hide” or the people who actually believe there is anything close privacy, especially when you are plugged to the internet?
        I mean, even if you don’t use a phone you are already being spied in multiple ways, do you even realize that?

        Privacy is just a marketing scheme, just like everything else. They literally use “we will protect your privacy” when they really don’t care but the $$ they can make about it. I mean, look at how many “we protect your privacy” companies, literally are funded by governments, do you think governments care about your privacy? no.
        It is like believing Tor and all those government funded organizations wants to give us privacy and anonymity.

        Privacy is a myth, is like pretending only because you don’t have a phone or don’t have internet you are automatically excluded from all the radiation those wireless communications emit. When literally you get 3g, 4g, now 5g, wifi everywhere, radio stations, tv stations etc etc, that’s exactly what privacy is, they spy on you regardless if you have or not anything to hide, if you have or not a phone or computer, if you are or not on internet…

        But if you are on the internet it is stupid to think there is anything resemblance of privacy and using some browsers and extensions will somehow magically fix how companies can see what you do, when you do, and how you do it and sell it to anyone or give it to the government or keep it to themselves. Your information ends up somewhere, it will not just disappear only because you believe you have nothing or too much to hide or it exist or it doesn’t exist.

        Privacy is a myth, deal with it.

      2. Dumbledalf said on March 2, 2022 at 10:42 pm
        Reply

        @StirKrunch

        Believing that you can be 100% private is a delusion. Well, you actually can – burn all your electronics and go live in a cave deep in the forest away from humanity.

        You can never be 100% private, but making some efforts can probably get you to about 50-70% private, of course with drawbacks – the more private you are, the more of a crippled experience you will have, that’s the tradeoff.

        Don’t act so smug with me, take your anti-edgelord pills.

      3. Anonymous said on March 3, 2022 at 2:37 am
        Reply

        Dumbledalf, I think that most people don’t care because they get something in return from these companies. I have asked many of my friends and family. They say, so what, I get from them, they get from me. They say they don’t want to put the effort like you say for being 70% private, they just don’t care, they have better things to do, their exact words.

      4. Rex said on March 3, 2022 at 4:42 am
        Reply

        @Dumbledalf – apparently for him you either have 100% privacy or go live in a cave. Those are the the only two options on the table.

  8. Anonymous said on March 2, 2022 at 8:21 pm
    Reply

    @StirKrunch The worst kind of people is people who reject that there could ever be privacy on the internet. Privacy is a cat and mouse game, that’s true. But with strong yet cautious competition regulation, copylefted software, strong encryption, strong privacy laws with private rights of action, and cooperation between users and developers, the internet could become a much more private place than it is now.
    I don’t know whether you live in a country in which citizens can vote om legislature and representatives. If you do, I hope you’re not one of the people who says, “Your vote doesn’t matter. The government is unfixable. You should give up on trying.” Choosing not to vote, I can’t complain about. Encouraging people not to vote, on the other hand, is actively harmful. Telling people to give up on their privacy is also actively harmful.

  9. ULBoom said on March 2, 2022 at 9:25 pm
    Reply

    Firefox mobile, at least the last time I tried it, sucked so bad it lasted maybe a day. Mozilla hasn’t really put any effort into FF Mobile, so what is this about?

    Meanwhile, FF Focus has been turned into what FF Mobile could have been, even has access to about:config now. Not that browsing on a phone isn’t good for much beside jacking your blood pressure and most users use apps for whatever they do.

    Bromite’s good.

    Same as with Windows, after spending a few days replacing most of the Google apps and adding a system level ad blocker which blocks in-app ads, too, our shiny new Pixels now behave. We never get anything we didn’t ask for except update notifications, which are OK.

  10. . said on March 3, 2022 at 1:14 am
    Reply

    This: “Mozilla has not confirmed the campaign yet, and it should be filed under testing for now. We don’t know the scope of the test nor whether Mozilla is gaining any compensation for it.” is very wrong.
    They posted a blog post about the whole partnership about half a month ago, including the announcement about the wallpapers: https://blog.mozilla.org/en/products/firefox/true-colors-with-firefox-pixar-animation-studios-turning-red/

  11. lolrepeatlol said on March 3, 2022 at 1:20 am
    Reply

    This is literally false. Creator of the post admitted to changing the wallpaper. https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/t4fyn3/comment/hyztw93/

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 3, 2022 at 6:27 am
      Reply

      These are integrated into Firefox and when you switch wallpapers using the method described, you will see them. Granted, they did not replace the user’s background, but these have been added to Firefox by Mozilla.

      Mozilla did post about this in February: https://blog.mozilla.org/en/products/firefox/true-colors-with-firefox-pixar-animation-studios-turning-red/ (thanks Sören)

      1. keishi said on March 3, 2022 at 8:28 pm
        Reply
      2. lolrepeatlol said on March 10, 2022 at 1:56 am
        Reply

        I’m aware the wallpapers are there, but I feel like this article (and the person posting that picture) make it sound like Brave, where wallpapers are cycled automatically. They’re not — this is entirely opt-in

  12. Aj sayne said on March 3, 2022 at 3:05 am
    Reply

    This is a great way to lose even more market share, there are other ways to gain market share which don’t include the way of pushing ads on user’s, customization options for one, this is the opposite way people want things to go for a browser, sorry

  13. Iron Heart said on March 3, 2022 at 11:17 am
    Reply

    I have done some comedy recently, based on the website they’ve posted. Any resemblance to reality is just coincidental. The following is satire!

    We love our true colors

    So you’re a lil irrelevant huh? That’s cool. Us too!

    FUN PROFIT

    Want to win some Mullvad VPN?

    Firefox is for the woke

    Weird wild pay rise

    Save the ad industry profits

    Google over people

    Firefox is for (internet) censors

    Yes! To Google money

    Download the antitrust shield browser – Get Deplatformingfox

  14. Greg said on March 4, 2022 at 12:13 am
    Reply

    with Manifest Version 3 coming to Firefox, AdBlockers will be like using KY Jelly. this wont stop firefox users from using firefox on there mobile

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