Mozilla is doing a test with Firefox Suggest. That is a search function that shows suggested and sponsored search results. The feature is optional and is currently only being tested on a small number of users in the United States.
Firefox Suggest shows search suggestions when users type in the Firefox address bar. These suggestions appear under regular search suggestions in the address bar. The search suggestions are not made by the search engine used, but by the Firefox browser itself. According to Mozilla, Firefox Suggest should help users find information faster. The company notes on its support page that these search suggestions may also include sponsored content from Mozilla’s advertising partners.
It is not known exactly how the search suggestions are selected. Mozilla’s webpage states that the company only works with advertising partners that “meet Firefox privacy standards,” citing adMarketplace as the preferred partner. When users click on a Firefox Suggest result, “technical data” is sent to Mozilla’s partners through a proxy service. The data does not contain any personally identifiable information, according to the company.
Users who are part of the Firefox Suggest test can turn the feature on and off as desired, under the search suggestions options in about:preferences#search. Firefox Suggest is still an experiment. It is therefore unknown if and when the feature will eventually become available to all Firefox users.
Images via Mozilla