Mozilla announced on Tuesday that its Firefox browser will soon include ads, or rather, “sponsored content.”

In a blog update, Mozilla explained that the new sponsored posts will appear as tabs on the browser’s opening page, which currently shows the user’s most-visited pages. Mozilla is calling the new system “Directory Tiles.”

“Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners.”

The sponsored tiles will only be visible to new users during the 30-45 days it takes for Firefox to track their most-visited pages, at which point the browser will revert to its normal state.


Screencap via Mozilla

This new development is quite a surprise, coming from a nonprofit company like Mozilla—particularly since it’s less than a year since they announced a default block on all third-party tracking cookies, which are typically used by advertisers. This temporary tile system could be a relatively subtle way to ease people into the idea of sponsored content.

The Directory Tiles announcement ends on a hint that there may be more advertising deals in Mozilla’s future. “While we have not worked out the entire product roadmap,” the company wrote. “We are beginning to talk to content partners about the opportunity, and plan to start showing Directory Tiles to new Firefox users as soon as we have the user experience right.”

Photo via nitot/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)