This is a guest post by Pascal Finette from Mozilla Labs.
We introduced a refreshed first run page with the launch of Firefox 3.6, which looks and feels more tightly integrated into the overall Firefox experience. As part of this page, we created a section which highlights the benefits of Firefox add-ons and directs users to the Add-ons for Firefox Web site.
In our continued effort to offer the best possible user experience and promote the discoverability of add-ons, we are running a pilot program to experiment with a new format: In addition to the broad add-ons promotion on the new first run page, we will display certain Recommended Add-ons.
These recommendations will run in a rotation – there will be four promotions in total during the pilot (including two add-ons, the current general promotion for add-ons and a Thunderbird promotion). The two add-ons in the pilot were selected from a list of recommended add-ons and contain one commercial (StumbleUpon) and one non-commercial add-on (ReminderFox).
Here’s more information about the first run page pilot experiment:
What is promoted on the first run page during the pilot?
How were pilot partners selected?
The add-ons for the pilot were selected from the list of recommended add-ons based on popularity and user feedback and then asked to participate.
Will other recommended add-ons be promoted on the first run page?
That depends on the results of this test. Look out for more information soon; we’ll be publishing the results of the pilot and our plans to move forward.
Is this paid-for-display advertising?
No. In terms of money, if the add-on is of a commercial nature and the promotion drives revenue for the add-on developer, we ask the developer to contribute back to the Mozilla project under a partnership agreement. However, placement on the first run page cannot be bought – we will only promote recommended add-ons.
How do add-ons become recommended?
The recommended lists are an important part of exposing visitors to useful and compelling add-ons with a small, focused list. The list features add-ons that offer a unique or exciting enhancement to Mozilla software and increases awareness of the thousands of add-ons hosted here. Read more about the recommended add-ons list here.
When will results from the pilot be provided?
The pilot will run for 6-12 weeks. When results have been gathered and examined following the pilot we will release the data. Depending on the success of the pilot, we may decide to continue promoting recommended add-ons on the first run page — at this point in time, we’ll provide more information on process and criteria.
Where does the revenue go?
All proceeds contribute to Mozilla’s public benefit mission. This includes covering the operational costs of hosting and distributing thousands of free add-ons, as well as community programs to encourage innovation in add-on development worldwide.