Some Firefox users yesterday started seeing an ad in the desktop version of the browser. It offers users a $ 20 Amazon gift card in return to book your next hotel stay through Booking.com. We reached out to Mozilla, confirming that the ad was a Firefox experiment, and that no user data was shared with its partners.
The ad appears at the bottom of Firefox's new multi-page desktop version with a "Find a Hotel" button that takes the user to a Booking.com page. The text reads, "Ready to plan your next family reunion? Here's a thank you from Firefox. Book your next hotel stay on Booking.com today and get free $ 20 Amazon gift cards. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restrictions apply)." version says: "In the holiday season we got you a little bit, just to use Firefox! Book your next hotel stay on Booking.com today and get free $ 20 Amazon gift cards. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restrictions apply.)"
Mozilla is always on the lookout for new revenue streams and has placed ads on Firefox's new multi-page site before. Last, Firefox 60, which appeared in May, introduced sponsored stories powered by Pocket on the new tab.
Mozilla says it's not an ad
The Pocket offer was announced and explained in advance. However, the Booking.com ad was something we hadn't heard of before, even though Mozilla says there were actually other such offers this month.
"This tag was an experiment to add more value to Firefox users through the offers offered by a partner," a Mozilla spokesman VentureBeat told. "It wasn't a paid placement or advertising. We're looking for more ways to say thank you for using Firefox. Similarly, earlier this month, we offered Firefox users a free opportunity to enjoy a live Phosphorescent concert. To add value to Firefox users, these measures are meant to support an open ecosystem, and when users see such offers, no data is shared with a partner until users have chosen to post a relationship. example. "
Mozilla's argument that this is not an ad is understandable, even if it is wrong. The company wants to deviate from the terms "paid placement" and "advertising" because of the negative connotations associated with unwanted ads.
Ads can be useful ̵
Clippings are by default in Firefox, but you can easily disable them. Navigate to about: preferences # home in Firefox (or click on the Firefox hamburger menu => Options => Home) and uncheck clippings.
The description for Snippets supplied in Firefox is quite vague: "Updates from Mozilla and Firefox." Mozilla wiki provides a more detailed explanation:
The: home control service is a simple, highly cached content management service. It is meant to collect and deliver content excerpts to it about: the Firefox homepage.
The content provided is determined by details of the installation of Firefox content requests – including mainly the details of the browser's build, local, platform and distribution channel, but not the person using the browser.
Mozilla uses Snippets to show tips on Firefox features or send a message to users (for example, there is a day that wants you a good New Year). In this case, Mozilla decided to use the function to test an ad.
Firefox 64, which appeared earlier this month, introduced a contextual feature consultant (CFR) limited to US users. Cutouts have existed longer than just this month, and appear to non-US users
Mozilla did not say how many users saw the Booking.com ad or how long the experiment was running (we asked the above statement earlier time limited verbiage). We will update this article if the company follows up with more information.
Update at 3:30 pm Pacific Ocean : "The Booking.com code snippet ran for five days and ended on December 30," said Justin O & # 39; Kelly in Mozilla PR in a statement. "About 25 percent of the US public who used the latest edition of Firefox over the past five days was eligible to see it."