Mozilla ends the Promoted Firefox Add-ons Program

Mozilla Add-ons Product Manager Jorge Villalobos announced the end of Mozilla’s Promoted Add-ons pilot for the Firefox web browser on January 21, 2021. The organization decided not to move forward and make the program a permanent feature of the browser’s add-ons ecosystem.

After reviewing the pilot results, we have decided not to move forward with this iteration of the program.

Mozilla introduced the program in September 2020 as a pilot program called Promoted Add-ons. The main idea was to provide developers with an option to get their add-ons promoted by Mozilla, and for Mozilla to extend the number of add-ons that would get reviewed through payments made by accepted developers.

Selected add-ons would get manual reviews and as a consequence, if successful, a verified badge on the add-ons profile page and Mozilla’s Add-ons homepage.

Up until that point, only extensions selected by Mozilla for its Recommended Extensions program would be code-reviewed by the organization and would receive these batches to increase user trust in them.

The Recommended Extensions program created a two-tier add-ons system, with verified extensions on one side and all other extensions on the other. Verified extensions would get promoted, some included in Firefox for Android, and all other extensions display a scary message when opened with Firefox stating that the extension is not monitored by Mozilla and that users should only install trusted extensions.

firefox addons scary message

Participation was free of charge during the pilot, but the idea was to evolve the pilot into a paid service that developers could utilize to get extra exposure for their add-ons; this won’t happen as Mozilla decided to end the program entirely.

Mozilla provides no explanation why it decided to end the program. The program has been criticized since its introduction. Some feared that it would allow companies with deep pockets to buy promotions and cause some developers to stop developing add-ons for the browser.

Now You: Did Mozilla the right thing to end the program after the pilot?

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