Firefox now has advertisements in address bar search suggestions
Mozilla released Firefox version 93.0 earlier in October and with it rolled out a new search feature—Firefox Suggest—which shows customized, paid suggestions in the address bar. Firefox Suggest displays suggestions from Wikipedia, Pocket, and, "sponsored, vetted partners and trusted organizations." To note, Firefox had been providing users with address bar search suggestions using browsing history, bookmarks, open tabs, and suggestions from preferred search engines.
Firefox Suggest will consider city locations and the search keywords to throw up suggestions. Some suggestions, unfortunately, will be ads. The image above is an example of sponsored content for Vans-branded shoes on eBay, first published in a Mozilla blog post. Mozilla also assured users their privacy will be protected, saying the new suggestions feature doesn't entail collecting, storing, or sharing new user data.
Though Firefox Suggest appeared in Firefox 93.0's release notes, it seems the feature was around since version 92.0. Users might be prompted to enable the feature—which would help Firefox in "fund development and optimization." If you want to disable it later, click on the hamburger menu, select Settings> Privacy and Security> Address Bar—Firefox Suggest. Now, deselect checkboxes for contextual suggestions and occasional sponsored suggestions.
Despite its "internet for people, not profit" motto, Mozilla introduced sponsored content in 2018 for funding its ventures. Since then, users have had to deal with new Firefox tabs with some paid reading suggestions. And now, they have been slapped with yet another ads-related feature. However, it's commendable that Mozilla is sticking to its promise of giving users the freedom to disable sponsored suggestions.
Notably, Firefox 93.0 also comes with three major changes that users will, considerably, appreciate. First, the updated browser version supports the AVIF image format, which offers better compression and no patent restrictions. Firefox 93.0 also has a tab unloading feature that kicks in automatically when the system memory is critically low. Another automatic feature blocks the downloading of harmful files.