Update 4:00 ET: In a recently-released blog post, Mozilla VP of content services Darren Herman announced the kick-off of an experimental program called Directory Tiles. Normally, when Firefox users open a new tab, they see tiles featuring images from sites they'd visited in the past. New users with no Firefox surfing history will, upon opening the web browser for the first time, see tiles depicting sponsored sites (Herman indicated these sponsored sites will be clearly labeled).
"While we have not worked out the entire product roadmap," Herman 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."
Firefox developer Mozilla is seeking to collaborate with advertising and publishing partners on several initiatives, a move that suggests the company often thought of as being averse to advertising has become more receptive to collaborating with marketers.
Mozilla’s prospective initiatives are focused on personalization features, transparency and its open-sourced mobile operating system, said Darren Herman, VP of content services at Mozilla.
Personalization represents an enormous opportunity for Mozilla to enhance its browser offerings, Herman said.
“The browser is going to play an evolved role in how the user consumes content online,” Herman told AdExchanger. “And if Mozilla’s going to be competitive as a technological product moving forward, we need to offer something that offers our users as much personalization as they want.”
Last year, Mozilla began working on a project code-named UP (user personalization), in which a team of developers worked with publishers to test ways to personalize the content on their sites using signals from Mozilla’s browser.