Mozilla Corporation, which maintains the popular web browser Firefox, is looking for more ways to make money from its product. In an interview with T3N, Mozilla’s CEO Chris Beard gave little insight into the company’s future plans.
Until now, Firefox has been offered for free to the customers. The web browser received a major refresh back in 2017 with the release of Firefox Quantum. Ever since, it has competed with the likes of Google Chrome.
Right now, Firefox is making money by using Google as its default search engine, and also through its content curation app called Pocket. Beard said that around 90% of the money comes from Search.
As far as Firefox’s Premium plans are concerned, it’s currently exploring the possibility of secure cloud storage and VPN services for users.
Firefox’s VPN would be a two-tier service. All the users would get some bandwidth for free and those who want more would have to shell out money from their pockets every month.
There is little confusion on whether there will be a new Firefox Premium version or whether the services will be launched as add-ons. A Firefox spokesperson told T3N that they would first start by introducing individual services and then decide which model works best for them.
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However, all the services and features that are currently offered free will remain free in the future as well, Beard told T3N.
“We were founded on the belief that the internet should be open and accessible to all. A high-performing, free and private-by-default Firefox browser will continue to be central to our core service offerings,” said Firefox’s SVP Dave Camp in a statement to Fossbytes via email.
We also recognize that there are consumers who want access to premium offerings, and we can serve those users too without compromising the development and reach of the existing products and services that Firefox users know and love.”
This adds to Mozilla’s ongoing efforts to make Firefox something more than a web browser. The company has recently added a bunch of useful features, including a file sharing feature called Firefox Send and a built-in password manager.
Update (June 11, 2019): Included a statement from Mozilla.