Mozilla today is unveiling its “Suggested Tiles” ad platform, which allows marketers to serve targeted ads to Firefox users.
“We want to show the world that it is possible to do relevant advertising and content recommendations while still respecting users’ privacy and giving them control over their data,” Mozilla Vice President of Content Services Darren Herman writes in a blog post announcing the new product.
The program builds on Mozilla's “Directory Tiles,” which the company launched last November.
Mozilla's “suggested tiles” platform involves categorizing Firefox users based on their recent and frequent browsing history, and then showing users “tiles” from marketers (including content companies and other publishers) who want to reach people in specific segments. For instance, a Firefox user who frequently visits sites operated by various clothing retailers might be placed in a clothes-shopper category, and then shown a “suggested tile” from a store he or she doesn't typically visit. As with the “directory tiles” program, the suggested tiles will appear when Firefox users open new tabs.
Mozilla plans to begin beta testing the platform soon, and expects to more fully roll it out this summer. Herman tells MediaPost that the program will launch with around 30 targeting categories, like “news,” “games,” “mobile fans,” “movies,” and “automotive.”
He adds that the company is open to creating custom categories for clients. Mozilla is not developing categories relating to tobacco, alcohol or pharmaceuticals, Herman says.
The company says that it only sends a “limited amount of data” about users to its servers, and that the raw data is only kept for a “short period” of time before it is aggregated.
Firefox users can wield control over suggested tiles by editing their browsing history or deleting it altogether. They also can opt out of the program.
Marketers and content companies that want to purchase sponsored tiles can do so on a cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impression basis, according to Herman. He adds that in some “rare and limited” cases, the company will consider a cost-per-action model.