Mozilla’s Firefox loses millions of users; Decline in market share



Firefox was on a roll towards the end of 2008. Mozilla’s browser was used by 20% of the 1.5 billion people who were online at the time. Additionally, half of all internet users in Indonesia, Macedonia and Slovenia have used Firefox.

Mozilla's Firefox loses millions of users;  Decline in market share

The browser’s market share fell to less than 4% on all devices, and less than half a percent on mobile. There’s no denying the discount when you look back five years and look at market share and the company’s own published data.

Firefox faces an alienated user base

From early 2019 to early 2022, Mozilla’s own numbers show a loss of around 30 million monthly active users. Significant flattening is clearly visible over the past two years.

Firefox has played a vital role in shaping web privacy and security in the two decades since it emerged from Netscape’s shadow as workers fought for more openness and higher standards. However, Mozilla’s declining market share has been accompanied by two rounds of layoffs in 2020. Its lucrative search deal with Google, which accounts for the vast majority of its revenue, is set 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 alarmed industry watchers and former employees about Firefox’s future.

His disappearance has profound ramifications for the internet as a whole. It was the best candidate to keep Google Chrome under control 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’s used by around 65% 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 on Google.

Delicate relationship between Mozilla and Google

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 every year to have its search engine selected as the default in Firefox, reports suggest the sum is currently in the order of $400 million a year.

Mozilla reported $496 million in overall revenue in its latest financial reports, with $441 million in royalties coming from search deals. These royalties are particularly significant because Firefox has other default search engine partners, such as Yandex Search in Russia. Google also pays Apple a large sum each year to ensure that its search engine is Safari’s default engine.

The Google-Mozilla partnership was last extended in 2020 and is set to expire in 2023. According to statistics, Firefox’s market share has shrunk by around 1% as a result of this agreement. According to the company’s own statistics, the number of monthly active users has remained constant at around 215 million. However, there is no guarantee that Google will continue to renew itself at the same pace.

Firefox Privacy Features

Firefox’s privacy credentials are comparable to those of its commercial competitors. The important thing with Firefox is how extensible it is. Firefox browsers are highly rated on the site, which focuses on open source software. Many privacy features aren’t turned on by default, which is bad, but it gives you the option to turn them on if you think you need them.

Mozilla also runs the Focus browser for Android and iOS, which has more default privacy protections 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.

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Article first published: Friday, February 18, 2022, 4:34 p.m. [IST]


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