So it’s final; Mozilla is rolling out its planned sponsored content in Firefox 60 from the next week.
In January this year, Mozilla makers announced their plan of adding sponsored stories and ads to its upcoming beta version. Since then, this feature is being tested with a small number of US natives who have been receiving recommended links (having some sponsored part) in a separate new tab in the browser. But from May 9, it will land to all Firefox users from the US when Mozilla releases Firefox 60.
How will the Sponsored Content Work?
Mozilla Firefox 60 users will see these sponsored stories in the Pocket Recommendation section included in new tabs. The company has made clear that the link recommendations will totally be personalized, meaning the browser will ensure the users receive only that content which they find valuable and worth giving attention to.
A thing worth noting here is that personalized means unsecured because for deciding on what the users might take interest in, the browsers need to track their personal preferences and habits. And that raises privacy concerns. However, Mozilla has planned it differently, keeping the personalization fully with the client on the local grounds. Mozilla or Pocket will not have any user data. In the words of Pocket Founder Nate Weiner:
We are indeed able to create personalized sponsored content that provides value to users without jeopardising their privacy.
What Firefox will do is that it will download a list of recommended sponsored links on a daily basis. It will then compare this list with your history and calculate which sites from the recommended links you like the most. Advertisers will not be told about your personal data. They will only get an aggregate of the clicks their stories receive.
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The company has emphasized that it doesn’t want to make the platform a clickbait promoter like Facebook, and that, the Pocket Recommendations are only to give users a better experience. However, you can opt out from this feature if you don’t like it. Simply head to the New Tab Preferences gear button and uncheck the box next to Recommended by Pocket.
Alternatively, you can disable only a particular sponsored story while keeping the recommendations functional. All you need to do is click the three-dots button at the top-right corner of the tab and select the Dismiss option.
Mozilla and Pocket owners seem quite promising with their new feature. Let’s see how secure and useful this Sponsored Content feature proves to be in future.
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