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Mozilla launches Suggested Tiles

News, 22 May 2015

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Mozilla, the organisation behind the Firefox web browser, has unveiled its latest contribution to the debate around advertising and consumer privacy with its Suggested Tiles product.

These promote specific content on the new tab page, which could be from Mozilla itself, publisher content, or advertising, with the relevance based on the user's interests.

In a blog post the company explained: "We define interest categories as a set of URLs that are related to the category. When one of those URLs appears in the user's list of most frequently visited sites, we show the content."

Interest categories will have a minimum of five URLs and all interest categories will be publicly available. IP addresses will be discarded after seven days and no individual data supplied to advertisers.

Firefox users will be able to exercise control over what appears by editing their browsing history or deleting it altogether; they can also opt out of the program.

Last year Mozilla launched Directory Tiles, selling sponsored positions within its desktop browser, which displays nine tiles on opening. At the time this came as something of a surprise, given the company's stance on blocking the third-party cookies which enable advertisers to track online users' visits to the websites on which they advertise.

"We want to show the world that it is possible to do relevant advertising and content recommendations while still respecting users' privacy and giving them control over their data," said Darren Herman, vp/content services, of the latest innovation.

He told MediaPost that the program would be launched in beta soon with around 30 targeting categories, such as news, games, mobile fans, movies and automotive; there will be no categories around tobacco, alcohol or pharmaceuticals.

Herman indicated that Mozilla was also open to the idea of creating custom categories for clients.

Data sourced from Mozilla, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff