Mozilla Foundation’s chairwoman, in an attempt to defend the non-profit organisation’s move of displaying ads on Firefox’s new tabs page and directory files, said that the move is important for the company to generate revenue.
Mitchell Baker wrote on a blog on Thursday: “To explicitly address the question of whether we care about generating revenue and sustaining Mozilla’s work, the answer is yes”.
While responding to questions and concerns raised by the Firefox user community earlier in the week Baker described advertisement content as “features, bookmarks, tabs, and other irritants added to the product to generate revenue.”
“We’d seen Mozilla code subsequently ‘enhanced’ with these features, and so we have a very strong, very negative reaction to any activities that even remotely remind us of this approach to product That’s good.”
Baker argued that money is necessary to fund the foundation, Firefox and the group’s other projects and with this new ad feature the company wants to raise the money without damaging the organisation’s stance on user privacy or harming its reputation with its users.
Baker said “When we have ideas about how content might be useful to people, we look at whether there is a revenue possibility, and if that would annoy people or bring something potentially useful”.
“Ads in search turn out to be useful.”
She also said that only two or three of the nine thumbnails would be devoted to such ads which would then under normal circumstances disappear within 30 days as the user browses the Web enough for Firefox to replace those ads with the user’s most visited URLs.
She also explained that one of the main reasons why Mozilla is looking for more revenue is the cost of creating Firefox OS. According to Baker, as building an entire mobile ecosystem is extremely expensive, if the company does not resort to such revenue generating options it would not be able to offer people the tools for modern life.
Baker also indicated that Mozilla might also look at some other ways to bring in revenue in the near future.