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Mozilla’s Firefox Loses Millions Of Users; Market Share Declines
Firefox was on a roll toward the end of 2008. Mozilla's browser was used by 20% of the 1.5 billion individuals who were online at the time. Moreover half of all internet users in Indonesia, Macedonia, and Slovenia used Firefox.
The browser's market share has dropped to fewer than 4% across all devices, and it's less than half a percent on mobile. There's no refuting the reduction when looking back five years and looking at market share and the company's own published data.
Firefox Faces Alienated User Base
From the beginning of 2019 to the beginning of 2022, Mozilla's own figures show a loss of about 30 million monthly active users. A significant flattening is clearly visible in the last couple of years.
Firefox has been essential in developing the web's privacy and security in the two decades since it emerged from the shadows of Netscape, with workers fighting for more openness and stronger standards. However, Mozilla's market share drop was accompanied by two rounds of layoffs in 2020. Its lucrative search arrangement with Google, which accounts for the vast majority of its revenue, is slated to expire next year.
A slew of privacy-focused browsers are now vying for market share, and new-feature missteps have threatened to alienate its user base. All of this has caused alarm among industry observers and former employees about Firefox's future.
Its demise has far-reaching ramifications for the internet as a whole. It was the best candidate for keeping Google Chrome in check for years, providing a privacy-conscious alternative to the world's most popular browser. Chrome has been synonymous with the internet since its inception in 2008, it is used by roughly 65 percent of all internet users and has a significant impact on how people use the internet.
Websites rushed to adopt Google's AMP publishing standard when it was first announced. Plans to replace third-party cookies in Chrome, which will affect millions of marketers and publishers, are also modeled after Google.
Mozilla And Google Tricky Relationship
The partnership between Mozilla and Google is tumultuous. They are business partners as well as competitors. Google pays Mozilla hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties each year for their search engine to be selected as the default in Firefox, reports suggest the sum is currently in the order of $400 million per year.
Mozilla reported $496 million in overall income in its most recent financial reports, with $441 million in royalties from search arrangements. These royalties are especially important because Firefox has other default search engine partners, such as Yandex Search in Russia. Google also pays Apple a hefty sum each year to ensure that its search engine is the default in Safari.
The Google-Mozilla partnership was last extended in 2020, and it is set to expire in 2023. According to statistics, Firefox's market share has decreased by about 1% as a result of this arrangement. According to the company's own statistics, the number of monthly active users has remained consistent at roughly 215 million. However, there's no guarantee that Google will continue to renew at the same pace.
Firefox Privacy Features
Firefox's privacy credentials are on par with those of its commercial competitors. The important thing with Firefox is how expandable it is. The Firefox browsers are highly rated on the site, which focuses on open-source software. A lot of privacy features aren't activated by default, which is bad, but it provides you the opportunity to enable them if you believe you need them.
Mozilla also runs the Focus browser for Android and iOS, which has more privacy protections by default than the standard Firefox browser. Two Firefox browsers serve different purposes and the programs will not be merged into one package. While Firefox competes with other privacy-focused browsers, Safari was the first to disable third-party tracking cookies by default.