In a move that’s sure to make no one happy, Firefox is getting sponsored address bar suggestions. This is sure to upset many Firefox users, and it’ll 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 for a limited number of users in the US only. The company describes it as “a new feature that serves as a trustworthy guide to the better web, surfacing relevant information and sites to help you accomplish 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,” a Firefox support page says.
That all sounds pretty useful, but it’s this part that’s sure to upset a ton of Firefox users:
“Beginning in Firefox version 92, you will also receive new, relevant suggestions from our trusted partners based on what you’re searching for. No new data is collected, stored, or shared to make these new recommendations.”
That means that you’ll see the browser history and all of the other stuff Firefox used to suggest, but now you’ll see results from Mozilla’s partners, which is basically an excellent way of saying that you’ll see ads in your navigation bar.
Based on the image shared by Mozilla, the results don’t look overly intrusive, as they appear right alongside the other options, but it’s still annoying to see even more ads when browsing the web.
Thankfully, you can turn this feature off quickly enough. In the menu on the top of the screen, click “Firefox,” then “Preferences.” Head to “Privacy & Security” and go to “Address Bar — Firefox Suggest.” Under this section, you’ll see “Contextual suggestions” and “Include occasional sponsored suggestions.” Turn these off, and you won’t see any more ads in your address bar.
You will also need to opt into Firefox’s “Allow suggestions” feature when prompted in Firefox 92, so this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about automatically happening to your web browsing experience.
With all that said, Firefox says this “helps fund development and optimization,” so if you want to support Firefox and you don’t find the suggestions to be too intrusive, you might want to enable the new feature.