Mozilla finally removed its full-screen VPN ads on its Firefox browser, which attracted criticism from users.
Mozilla launched its VPN offering two years ago, but the company recently decided to push it to its customers a bit more aggressively. In the reports, users shared encountering “intrusive VPN popup pushing Firefox VPN” even “over an unrelated page.” As many described, this would prevent you from clicking anywhere on the browser’s window until you close or interact with the ad. Even more, users reported being unable to prevent the ad even when using ad blockers since they can only stop ads inside web pages, not the ones part of the browser UI.
Users expressed disappointment over Mozilla’s move, saying it is “not a good look for a company trying to promote privacy, security, and Internet that caters to users’ needs.” The ad reportedly received tons of complaints, pushing the company to stop the ad experience, as confirmed on different platforms.
“Firefox is committed to creating an online experience that puts people first, as such we quickly stopped running the ad experience and are reviewing internally,” one Mozilla employee said on the Mozilla support page.
The action seems to be a part of the company’s push to boost its business which continuously suffers from the advancement of its competitors, including Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. According to the data of StatCounter, Firefox now only has 2.76% of the browser market share worldwide. Recently, despite reaching Windows 7 and 8 reaching their EOS, the company even decided to support Firefox continuously on the said systems in hopes of preventing possible loss of some user population. However, as one user noted during the ad issue within the browser, the action was “the opposite of what you do to get people to use your browser over others.”