There’s a relatively simple question we’ve been asking for quite some time… of the total Firefox user base, how many people (or what percentage) use at least one add-on?
Thanks to some recent work by Simon Krueger, our metrics intern, we’ve been able to arrive at a rough approximation. Here’s my thought process for the important data points Simon’s been able to extract:
- We know that there are roughly 300 Million Firefox users, and on a given day, we see about 100 Million active users of Firefox
- Narrowing our focus to just a single day’s worth of data (we simply picked June 22nd), we turned our attention to estimating add-ons usage for just that one day, so that we could compare something on a relative basis to our overall Fx metric of 100 Million active daily users
- We saw Firefox add-on pings from 32.8 Million unique IP addresses
- There are a couple issues at this point: (1) There could be multiple users from the same IP address, and (2) There could be a handful of add-ons where adoption isn’t fully user-initiated (e.g., people happen to have it, but don’t know what it is)
- Balancing these two issues (i.e., they may come close to offsetting), I think it’s safe to say that roughly 33% of Firefox users (32.8/100) have at least one add-on
- So, of our user base (roughly 300 Million), perhaps about 100 Million people use at least one add-on
I want to conclude with a few words of caution. This methodology is far from perfect. It’s conservative and there are also potential holes in it (some of which we haven’t yet thought of). It also remains unclear as to how useable this slice of data will be as we see it trended in the future. Moreover, the data above is wide open to interpretation. The add-ons team and other folks across the community may arrive at a completely different interpretation (read here for Justin Scott’s point of view). Regardless, a fruitful discussion around this topic should hopefully ensue.
(photo from mynameisideal.blogspot.com)