Firefox Suggest feature just rolled out and it does exactly what the name implies it should do. Basically, when one enters a very standard search phrase to the Firefox's address bar, say, like France, the browser automatically suggests a France's Wikipedia page link below the address bar.
However, Firefox plans to add contextual suggestions to the feature soon. This would take information like user's location and previous behaviour into account. So, in case you're looking for a specific pizza chain, like Domino's, the suggestion link could be your nearest Domino's local page rather that the corporate frontpage.
Obviously, in order to use contextual suggestions, Firefox would have to collect information about its users - and pass that information to its servers. A move that many users worried about their privacy aren't going to be happy about.
Furthermore, Firefox plans to add a possibility for companies to bid on search terms and then show those sponsored links as the suggestions. So, when you're typing Domino's pizza chain name to the address bar, you might get a suggestion for Pizza Hut's link instead.
Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, claims that it wont allow just anyone to bid for keywords and to buy sponsored links, but instead, company plans to vet the possible sponsors and select only few "trusted ones" to use the upcoming advertisement feature.
Below is the official video demonstrating how the feature works:
Firefox has lost millions of users during the past few years. And considering the fact that it used to be the #1 browser sometime back in early 2000s, the current marginal marketshare it controls, is a pity. But it is interesting to see whether the data collection behaviour will get more users to the open source contender - or will Firefox lose the remaining loyal users, too.
Written by: Petteri Pyyny @ 16 Sep 2021 7:11