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Mozilla has set up a new program which aims to transform a user’s first time experience with Firefox through experimentation with promotional tiles in the ‘new tab’ page.

The new tab page when opened for the first time after installing Firefox or clearing down history displays 9 empty tiles. Over time they populate with the most frequent and recent websites a user visits. With the introduction of this new program Mozilla will instead display Mozilla based links and sponsored tiles.

Darren Herman, VP of Content Services at Mozilla explains this new program:

Directory Tiles will instead suggest pre-packaged content for first-time users. Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission. The sponsored tiles will be clearly labelled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy.We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better Internet through trust and transparency, and it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project. While we have not worked out the entire product roadmap, we are beginning to talk to content partners about the opportunity, and plan to start showing Directory Tiles to new Firefox users as soon as we have the user experience right.