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As we reported back in February, Mozilla is introducing changes to the new tab page in Firefox, which may include some sponsored links in the…

we reported back in February, Mozilla is introducing changes to the new tab page inFirefox, which may include some sponsored links in the future. The original announcement was controversial, and Vice President of Firefox, Johnathan Nightingale has tried to calm user fears that this could mean ‘ads in Firefox‘.

The original idea was to make the new page tab more useful. When you open a new tab page in Firefox, you will see a grid of tiles which lead to websites. These tiles are based on your own history, so they are a neat way of getting to your most visited sites without having to type. You can choose to turn these tiles off with a button in the top right corner of the tab. The new plan, called ‘Directory Tiles’, is for brand-new users without any browsing history.


In the current system, new users see nine empty tile spaces. Mozilla is experimenting with ways to populate the space so new users get something useful in new tabs. One of the options was for Mozilla to sell this space for sponsored tiles.

Johnathan Nightingale says the new Directory Tiles will be tested in the pre-release channels. They will mix Mozilla sites with other useful sites on the web, and will change the around to see how new users respond to them. Nightingale says any sponsorship of Directory Tiles will come later. Either way, current users with saved browser history will not be affected.


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