In Mozilla they are still very aware of making money beyond Google, and the company’s new idea has been to add advertising no less than in the Firefox suggestions, although you do not have to worry because as it usually happens with so many other things, this novelty is not enabled outside the United States.
However, it is noteworthy because it was launched with the launch of Firefox 93 and we did not mention it in the release news, precisely because it is a feature that is not going to reach these parts yet. However, the novelty is causing some controversy and it is worth dedicating a small space to it.
In summary, Mozilla has introduced in Firefox 93 a function called contextual suggestions, that is, suggestions in the search bar in addition to the already existing ones, in which very different result proposals can appear. For example, useful links, from your bookmarks or recent history and also purely advertising links.
Mozilla explains in detail how this new feature works, forgive the redundancy: “When contextual suggestions are enabled, Firefox suggestions use the location of your city and search keywords to make contextual suggestions from Firefox and our partners, keeping your privacy in mind . You can personalize your experience with Firefox suggestions by managing the types of suggestions you receive and the data used to serve them in your Firefox settings”.
The linked documentation says that the deployment of Firefox suggestions is being done gradually with all browser users, and when the feature is activated, either by installing or updating Firefox, it will show an alert window informing the user of the same and allowing you to activate or deactivate it, even though its activation is marked by default.
If you use Firefox 93 and you are not in the United States, you can easily see some of the potential of Firefox suggestions simply by performing a search, although it does not contribute much more than it did with the normal search suggestions until now; the only difference is that it picks a bit more random results.
Of course, do not confuse the current suggestions, which Firefox usually takes from the search engine you are using, with the new Firefox suggestions, because they are not the same. The latter are generated outside the search engine and, it is assumed, integrate Mozilla’s partners in adMarketplace, with whom it does not share identifiable information, but everything else, as long as the user clicks on the link.
Does the saying that hunger sharpens your wits ring a bell? Well, that’s what they are doing in Mozilla, although the normal thing is that these inventions do not work out well: they have already tried to put advertising based on suggestions, but in visual markers; later they did the same on the new tab page; and there was even talk of adopting the Brave model and the user paying a subscription to remove advertising from the Web, but everything ended up being discarded.
On the other hand, they are testing the change to Bing as an alternative search engine to Google. Whether it will materialize or not will have to be seen. Meanwhile, the company keeps trying to cash in and its latest project, you know, is the Mozilla VPN service.