The Firefox Add-ons community is an amazing source of creativity and innovation for Firefox users all over the world. Thousands of developers create add-ons that foreshadow the future of Web browsers, and until today, developers who wanted some sort of financial support for their development efforts had few options.
Today’s release includes a pilot of a feature we’re calling “Contributions”. This pilot allows developers to request an optional dollar amount for their Firefox Add-on. Along with requesting this amount, we’re helping developers tell their stories with our new “About the Developer” pages, which explain to prospective contributors the motivations for creating an add-on and its future road map. Since contributions are completely optional, users will have ample time to evaluate an add-on to determine whether or not they want to help a developer.
Since this is the first time we’re presenting this opportunity, we’re treating this initial launch as a pilot. Our aim with this pilot is to help support a growing ecosystem by providing our users with the opportunity to support their favorite add-on developers. We’re asking for feedback from our community to drive the future of this pilot and we look forward to learning as much as we can. We’ll be working with PayPal on this pilot to provide a secure and international solution for facilitating payments.
We’re incredibly excited about the potential of Contributions and hope it makes a meaningful difference in the lives of developers and users alike. As always, we’ll be evaluating this pilot as we receive feedback and making changes based on that feedback. Please let us know via the AMO newsgroup if you have ideas or thoughts to share. We’ve also put together this brief FAQ on Contributions:
How will payments work?
We are working with PayPal on this pilot to provide a secure and international solution for facilitating payments. Developers can optionally create a PayPal ID for each of their Firefox Add-ons. Users will be presented with a “Contribute” button that gives them the option of paying the suggested amount or a different amount.
Does Mozilla earn a percentage from Contributions?
For this pilot, Mozilla will not earn a percentage of any contributions made by users. Developers will receive all the proceeds from contributions minus the PayPal transaction fee.
How do I set this up for my Add-on?
In the Developer Tools for your add-on, you will see two new sections for setting up Contributions and your Developer Profile.
I plan on requesting a small amount, what can I do about the transaction fees?
PayPal supports a micropayments fee structure which reduces the transaction fees for payments under $12. You can create a separate PayPal account for any add-ons where the requested amount is under $12. For more, visit PayPal’s Micropayments site.
Are Contributions optional?
Contributions are always optional. Developers have a variety of ways to present the contribution, some of which do include an interstitial page before downloading, but at no point are payments required for a download.
Why did you create multiple options for presenting the “Contribute” button?
Based on feedback from our developer community, we wanted to use this pilot to give developers a choice of ways to present this option to their users. Based on what we learn, we may change or remove some options.
Why did you call this “Contributions” and not “Donations”?
At Mozilla, we use the word “Contributor” for community members who contribute time and energy to our mission of promoting choice and innovation on the Internet. Our goal is that users who contribute money to developers are supporting the future of a particular add-on, as opposed to donating for something already received.
Will international currencies be supported?
For the pilot, all contribution amounts will be specified in USD. However, users worldwide will be able to contribute in local currency via PayPal.