Mozilla downsizes and refocuses on Firefox and AI: read the memo

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After facility A new interim CEO earlier this month Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser, is making major changes to its product strategy, TechCrunch has learned.

Specifically, Mozilla plans to reduce its investments in a number of products, including its VPN, Relay and its Online Footprint Scrubber. Mozilla will also shut down Hubsthe 3D virtual world spear in 2018, and reduce its investments in its mozilla.social Example of a juggernaut. The layoffs will affect around sixty employees. Bloomberg previously reported layoffs.

In the future, the company said in an internal memo, Mozilla will focus on introducing “trustworthy AI in Firefox.” To do this, it will bring together the teams working on Pocket, Content and AI/ML.

Mozilla began expanding its product portfolio in recent years, while its flagship product, Firefox, continued to lose market share. And although the organization has often been heavily criticized for this, its executives have argued that diversifying its product portfolio beyond Firefox is necessary to ensure Mozilla’s long-term survival. Firefox, after all, provided the vast majority of Mozilla’s revenue, but that also meant that the organization was essentially dependent on Google to continue this deal. With these changes, it now appears that Mozilla might be refocusing on Firefox once again, which will surely make many die-hard Firefox fans happy.

Here is the full internal memo:

Reduce investments mozilla.social: With mozilla.social, we made a big bet in 2023 to create a safer and better social media experience, based on Mastodon and the Fediverse. Our initial approach was based on the belief that Mozilla needed to reach scale quickly in order to effectively shape the future of social media. It was a noble idea but we had difficulty implementing it. While we had resources mozilla.social strongly to pursue this ambitious idea, in retrospect, a more modest approach would have allowed us to participate in space with much greater agility. The actions we are taking today will make this strategic correction, working with a much smaller team to participate in the Mastodon ecosystem and deliver smaller experiences more quickly to people who choose to live on the mozilla.social example.

Protection and identity experimentation (PXI): We are reducing our investments in some of our standalone consumer products in the area of ​​security and privacy. We are reducing our investments in market segments heavily frequented by our competitors and in which it is difficult to offer a differentiated offer. Specifically, we plan to reduce our investments in VPNs, Relays, and Online Footprint Scrubber. We will maintain our investments in products that meet customer needs in growing market segments.

Hubs: Since the beginning of 2023, we have been witnessing a transformation in the 3D virtual world market. With the exception of gaming, education, and a handful of niche use cases, demand has shifted away from 3D virtual worlds. This impacts all players in the sector. The hubs’ user and customer bases are not strong enough to justify continuing to dedicate resources in the face of headwinds from adverse demand developments. We will terminate the service and communicate a smooth exit plan to customers.

Resizing the human team
Given the downsizing and reduced headcount budget at MozProd, some roles have been consolidated in people organizations and other support services so that we can offer the right level of support to our product portfolio . Optimize our organization to better concentrate.

In 2023, generative AI has begun to rapidly change the industrial landscape. Mozilla saw the opportunity to introduce trustworthy AI into Firefox, thanks in large part to the acquisition of Fakespot and the product integration work that followed. Additionally, finding quality content remains a critical use case for the Internet. Therefore, as part of today’s changes, we will unite the Pocket, Content, and AI/ML teams supporting content with the Firefox organization. More details on specific organizational changes will follow shortly. In MozProd, there are no changes in MDN, Ads or Fakespot. There are also no changes in legal/policy, finance and business operations, marketing, or strategy and operations.

Correction: In a previous version, we said that Mozilla only launched its Online Footprint Scrubber last week. What Mozilla launched last week was a somewhat similar but different product, Mozilla Monitor. We have updated the story to reflect this.

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