Would you pay a subscription fee for Mozilla FireFox's pro features?
Yes, I will pay Mozilla!
No, I will not.
Not yet decided.
None of the above
51 votes · Closed
Mozilla CEO Chris Beard just announced that they will be bringing pro features to Firefox like "Cloud storage" and VPN. Read the full announcement here: theverge.com/2019/6/10/18660344/firefox-sub..
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I voted «Not yet decided», although I already made donations to Mozilla (and do annual donations to EFF, which are the only outside-the-country things I donate money to) But my very first feeling was «yes, absolutely yes, obviously», so let me explain my reasoning here a little bit. I’m curious to learn if other people think like me, or not, and please please comment, because I’m really not set on this!
First things first: Mozilla is one of the few organization around that really do an awesome job to make the internet a greater place. Really, EFF is the only one non-profit org I can think of on the top of my head (then there are many country-oriented orgs, like owasp chapters, Canada’s CDS (
@CDS_GC on Twitter), UK’s NCSC which are great, and probably others from other countries I should know of. But you got my point: these people work hard to make the internet a safe and free place for all of us, and we owe them a lot.
And for this I will continue to give money to Mozilla.
Then in this Verge article (I haven’t read about it elsewhere so I might be biased and I might review my judgement when new pieces of information became available), there’s some smell up upsell I’m not sure I like. Which is the reason I voted «Not yet decided», which could be translated in «ok, I’m ready to give you some money, but please tell me more» The reason is this: When Firefox bundled Pocket directly in the browser, I was confused. And don’t get me wrong: I love Pocket and use it a lot (it replaced Evernote a few years ago for my use-cases)
But I am confused when software I trust for its freedom and stance on freedom and privacy and security opens the door to a third company. So I found it really useful (because I already was a Pocket user), but wasn’t super comfortable about the mix of a third party business finding its way directly in the browser I trust for being free of money pressures.
Which leads us to this news.
If Firefox offers some «subscription» for new features, which they approve, I would trust them and use it to support them. And let’s face it: choosing a good VPN isn’t easy, so if Firefox makes it easier for me, gives me a trustworthy solution (and no good VPN comes for free) and at the same times helps me support them, then I’ll subscribe! But the way this is described makes me uncomfortable. I’ll be even more precise: «The goal for Mozilla is to develop “diverse sources of revenue” ». When I read this, this makes me think: Ok, so what if a shady VPN vendor offers a better deal to Firefox, will they suggest me do subscribe to some VPN vendor which will sell my data to 3rd parties? I am neither a marketing guy nor a lawyer, but let’s imagine the quote was «The goal for Mozilla is to help their user choose the best possible way to secure their connection through a network of trusted partners». And we understand that a service like this cost money to run, so required money. But that shift the message enough for me to think «Ok. they need money, but they still put the user and its privacy and security first», which is totally different from that quote in Verge which tells us «Mozilla needs money» (not the real quote, but that’s exactly what it says, which let us make assumptions about how they prioritize the way they find this money.
One thing I learnt in the last years if that it’s never good to let your users/teammates/partners/whoever make assumptions. They’ll imagine the worse. Tell them the truth. And if you need money: tell them, but tell them how you choose to make it, how you put priorities between money and users privacy and security.
For now this message is unclear, at least to me.
You have to believe in things that are not true. How else would they become?
Depends on what exactly those features are. If they are useful to me, i definitely will.
However, knowing the old practice of Mozilla, i think most of these features are something that you can host for yourself (like, did you know you can host your own sync and account server?) so who knows? Maybe iʼll just go with doing it All by Myself 🎶
I haven't yet decided, will definitely need more info.
I do use a paid version of a VPN service, but that one protects my whole PC, it's not tied only to my browser... So, I might reconsider testing Mozilla stuff in the future, but for now, I'll definitely keep on using the provider I chose in the first place.
If it was a 1 off payment I'd be more inclined. I'm not a big fan of /month payments. But I'm guessing a lot of the features they come out with I'll already have installed and paid for, such as VPN etc.
However, it is good to see Mozilla are looking to create a more sustainable business model with consistent revenue rather than selling search data and advertisements. So if they adjust the price and feature set to be somewhat decent/stuff I have need for and dont currently have then I'd be happy to support them monetarily.
I might not as I already have a VPN service which I use for all devices and all kinds of Web based activity, not just One browser.
I am very interested in Mozilla and how they are shaping the Web.
I want to switch to Firefox but, somehow, after some time their update makes the Browser more heavy on Machine.
I like to keep my tabs open for a very very long time. And with Firefox I am always not feeling comfortable.
For VPN, Opera already provides it for free.
I have the same dilemma to change to firefox, I use workona.com on Chrome to manage my tabs. On firefox, I used Session Sync github.com/ReDEnergy/SessionSync, and it's good, but I don't feel completely comfortable with it. So I would like to have workona on firefox. I didn't know about Opera and the VPN free feature.
The way I see it, is this is not an "all-inclusive" pitch. The subscription fees are per "extra." Looks and smells like an upsell, frankly. Choose a VPN service, cash in on referrals. Choose a cloud service, cash in on referrals. Otherwise, it's even worse if those are their services; since they can't hold a candle to the ones who are the current industry leaders.
However, if they pulled a $10/mo for the whole ball of wax - I would probably bite. Products like Bitwarden are incredibly well-crafted and highly affordable, so Mozilla needs to do the same or everyone will eventually be using different flavors of Chromium, by default.
Their new logo and attempt at rebranding also sucks. #truthinesshurts
Firefox is actually my default browser, and has been since Netscape Navigator. I currently use the Developer Edition, then Google Chrome, followed by the others, for my persona QA sessions in testing apps and sites.
I already donate because they are among a select few that are actually trying to improve the web.
Basically... Mozilla is one of the "Good Guys". I will support them with a monthly subscription if the features are something of value for me. I will also continue to donate to the .org for as long as their mission remains altruistic in nature.
I used to use Mozilla years ago quite a bit but I do feel as a company they are slipping to the back with a bit with their tech. Cloud storage would be interesting to see what they could possibly offer e.g for me it's practice to have my phone, laptop and cloud all connected at once and I know this is something that Apples not the best at in particularly getting photos off phone where as Google fills that void completely for me.
Maybe let the product come out a bit and then purchase into it once it's got bugs sorted out as they're always new bugs with services and products once they're launched.
Proton and Mozilla are both great companies, so this is a cool partnership. But I use ProtonMail every day with a custom domain, and that tier of service comes with ProtonVPN at no added cost, so I would effectively be paying twice for the same thing to benefit Mozilla. Not unlike me, though, since I think I still have an active Pocket subscription which I very seldom use or even think about; it just quietly debits my bank account every other paycheck, but that's okay because Mozilla is pretty baller. I consider that subscription to be a monthly donation.
All things considered, I don't see existing ProtonMail users like myself to be the ideal customers here. More likely just donate outright on a monthly basis, or perhaps buy some merchandise. Proton is also a very good company in terms of what they add to the field, so changing my active subscription to ProtonMail in order to benefit Mozilla wouldn't really do much for me as a giver.