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Mozilla removes Sponsored Tiles from Firefox, but will replace them with something new

Mozilla removes Sponsored Tiles from Firefox, but will replace them with something new

by AshwinDecember 5, 2015

Mozilla, the makers of the famous browser Firefox, has announced something that will please some and surprise many.


The company has been experimenting with sponsored content, aka ads, such as Sponsored Tiles in the browser.

Ads in Firefox is nothing new, the company uses a three tier form for tiles. First is the one where Firefox would display ad for Top Sites, in the New Tab page, and these were based on the user’s browsing history. Users were far from pleased with this decision, and slammed Mozilla, despite the fact that the browsing history is stored locally on the PC, to ensure privacy.

Then there are suggested tiles, which are Mozilla’s suggested tiles based on the browsing history.  The third is sponsored content, directly from advertisers. This could be the reason which has possibly driven Mozilla to make a change in its policies.

The browser maker has announced that it is shuttering Sponsored Tiles in Firefox. But don’t rejoice just yet. The browser maker will instead be implementing a new ad-system to boost its revenue.

Mozilla is clearly sending mixed messages to users. A few months ago, it introduced Tracking Protection in Firefox. The new feature was bundled in, to ensure that the user’s privacy was protected as much as possible. And to achieve this, the only way, was to disable tracking information from ads and web elements like social buttons, all ads. So it blocks ads, and yet wants to make money off of ads?

Mozilla’s says it has ended its two year plan for Tiles, as it was apparently not the ideal way to deliver content (oh really?).


Instead the browser maker plans to focus on content discovery. The curtains will come down on Suggested Tiles over the next few months. This is what a Mozilla representative told VentureBeat,

“We will continue to experiment with content experiences on new tab pages within Firefox and across our products. However we are stopping advertising through Tiles.”

This can’t be good, can it? Anyway this is not the first bad decision from the company n recent times. It plans to kill Tab Groups Panorama, heavyweight themes and more.


The real change is that Mozilla plans to introduce a new WebExtensions API which will bring support for Google Chrome extensions, as well as a new technology called e2s (Electrolysis), which will distribute the memory of each tab in its own individual process, to help the browser more speedy. It is also going to remove support for some existing add-ons API.

However all these changes, will require add-on developers to re-write their extensions, and some of them have already stated they will abandon work on their add-ons once Mozilla implements them.