In a move that is sure to please no one, Firefox is receiving sponsored address bar suggestions. This will certainly upset many Firefox users, and it will be interesting to see what the move does to Mozilla’s market share in the browser space.
The new feature, which Mozilla calls Firefox Suggest, is currently available to a limited number of users in the United States only. The company describes it as “a new feature that serves as a reliable guide to a better web, bringing up relevant information and sites to help you achieve your goals.”
“When contextual suggestions are enabled, Firefox Suggest uses your city location and search keywords to make contextual suggestions from Firefox and our partners while keeping your privacy in mind,” one page states. Firefox support.
It all sounds pretty useful, but it’s this part that is sure to rock a ton of Firefox users:
“Starting with Firefox version 92, you will also receive new, relevant suggestions from our trusted partners depending on what you are looking for. No new data is collected, stored or shared to make these new recommendations.
That means you’ll see browser history and all the other stuff Firefox suggested, but now you’ll see results from Mozilla partners, which is basically a great way to say you’ll see ads in your navigation bar.
Based on the image shared by Mozilla, the results don’t seem too intrusive as they appear right next to the other options, but it’s still annoying to see even more ads while browsing the web.
Fortunately, you can turn this feature off pretty quickly. In the menu at the top of the screen, click on “Firefox”, then on “Preferences”. Head to “Privacy and Security” and navigate to “Address Bar – Firefox Suggestion”. Under this section, you will see “Contextual Suggestions” and “Include Occasional Sponsored Suggestions”. Turn them off and you will no longer see ads in your address bar.
You will also need to enable Firefox’s “Allow Suggestions” feature when prompted in Firefox 92.
That said, Firefox says it “helps fund development and optimization,” so if you want to support Firefox and don’t find the suggestions too intrusive, you can enable the new feature.