Firefox's new feature is part of an ambitious plan to change how we search

www.fastcompany.com
3 min read
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With Firefox Suggest, Mozilla is rethinking web search—and its Google-reliant business model.
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At first glance, a new Firefox feature called Suggest doesn't seem like a big deal.

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Type into the browser's address bar, and you might see suggested links from Wikipedia or shopping results from eBay. In the future, you might be able to peek at the weather, or perform quick mathematical calculations, similar to what Google offers in its Chrome browser today. Even if those features save you some time, they won't really change how you browse. But Selena Deckelmann, Mozilla's senior vice president for Firefox, says the new suggestions are just the first step toward a broader goal of curating the web. Eventually, she's hoping the browser will help users discover new websites and find what they're looking for straight from the address bar, without having to visit Google or another search engine first. "People are struggling with information overload," Deckelmann says. "Firefox Suggest will be a trustworthy guide to finding the best of the web."

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It's also a new way for Mozilla to make money, one that doesn't involve getting paid to make Google its default search engine. The listings from eBay, for instance, are sponsored, and users can expect more sponsored address bar listings in the future—provided they don't provoke a major backlash. Adding new search options The address bar might seem like an odd place to host such an ambitious mission. In most browsers, it serves as a means to an end—a place to type some text and hit…
Jared Newman
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