Mozilla recently announced that it would be shifting from a completely ad-free model to a one that involves pushing sponsored links to users in an attempt to garner revenue from its ultra-popular browser - Firefox. Starting Wednesday, May 9, with the release of Firefox 60, the browser is now showing occasional sponsored stories in Pocket's recommendations section in Firefox new tab.
As per a blog post by Mozilla, this decision apparently comes with proper privacy and quality standards in place. According to Nate Weiner, CEO and Founder of Pocket, all personalisation of sponsored links will take place on the client-side thus eliminating the need of collecting personal data and storing it. The sponsored links are claimed to show valuable content, useful for the reader. Lastly, as an open organisation, all code in Firefox is said to remain open source and transparent.
"We've come to accept a premise around advertising today that users need to trade their privacy and data in exchange for personalised, high quality experiences. Our experiments over the last few months have proved that this isn't true. We are indeed able to create personalised sponsored content that provides value to users without jeopardizing their privacy," said Weiner in the blog post.
Users who don't want to a particular sponsored story on the new tab of Firefox can remove it by hitting the Dismiss option after clicking the three-dot button from the top-right corner of the tile. Similarly, the entire Pocket Recommendations section can be removed by selecting the New Tab Preferences gear icon and then unchecking the Recommended by Pocket option.
Mozilla acquired Pocket (Read It Later) back in February last year. During the acquisition, Mozilla stated that the content bookmarking service would function independently, which does not seem to be the case slightly more than a year down the line. Pocket is available for download on Android, Google Chrome, iOS, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Windows.
Separately, Firefox version 60 for Android has been released by Mozilla. The update brings the new Quantum CSS engine, called Stylo, to the platform. It also has a View Page Source option that can now be accessed from the Page Action menu.