Mozilla Ditches Promoted Add-Ons For Firefox
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 25 January 2021

After a two-month pilot open to a small number of participants, Mozilla has decided not to proceed with Promoted Add-Ons, a scheme whereby developers could pay to have their Firefox extensions officially reviewed by Mozilla and remove the "Caution label" from listings on AMO.

amo1

The AMO homepage (addons.mozilla.org) currently prominently displays Recommended extensions for the Firefox browser. It receives about two million unique visits per month so it therefore stands to reason that any developer who has devoted time to creating an app for the Firefox browser would want it to be featured.

Moreover when user search for extensions the officially Recommended ones are top of the list:

amo2

According to the September announcement, which came from Jorge Villalobos, the Product Manager for addons.mozilla.org, two levels of paid services would be available. “Verified” badging which would automatically remove the caution label that appears on any extension that has not been reviewed by Firefox staff, and for an additional fee, placement in a sponsored section of the AMO homepage. 

Our response to this news last September was equivocal. Yes, having apps officially reviewed and potentially recommended might provide developers a welcome opportunity to boost the discoverability and attractiveness of their Firefox add-ons but,  given it would be a paid-for service after the initial pilot it gave the impression of Mozilla being exploitative - using developers as a new source of revenue. 

Now Mozilla has decided not to move forward with this program and already the Sponsored Section on the AMO homepage has been removed as have all the Verified Badges awarded to the pilot participants. The vast majority of Extensions, including ones highly rated by users still sport the off-putting warning:

amo3

In the blog post about the failed pilot Villalobos comments:

This was a difficult decision, but we believe there are other, more impactful ways we can help add-on developers be successful; and we’ve turned our attention to exploring new experimental programs.

It remains to be seen whether future experiments will avoid the pitfall of deterring developers who cannot afford to pay for official review from creating new browser extensions for Firefox.

firefoxquantum

 

More Information

Promoted Add-ons Pilot Wrap-up

Related Articles

Promoted Add-Ons Pilot For Firefox

Firefox Use Slumps 85% Executive Pay Soars 400%

Mozilla Layoffs and Change of Focus

Leaked Mozilla Tax Return Causes Furore

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Last Updated ( Monday, 25 January 2021 )