Mozilla plans to start offering a subscription service inside of Firefox that offers access to “premium” features like a VPN service or cloud storage.
Mozilla CEO Chris Beard mentioned both a VPN service and cloud storage offered with t3n. Mozilla intends to begin offering subscriptions starting in October.
Mozilla started offering a VPN subscription from October of 2018. It was presented as a test, though, and was only made available to a small group of users.
Those who were presented with the option were able to subscribe through Firefox, paying $10 per month for access to ProtonVPN.
The goal for Mozilla is to develop “diverse sources of revenue” so that it isn’t so heavily reliant on money it receives from search companies that pay to be featured in the browser.
Much of that money comes from a direct competitor in the browser market — Google — so it makes sense that Mozilla would want to build out a new way to make money.
Mozilla says that it won’t charge for any existing Firefox features as part of its shift to offering subscription services. Instead, it’s just using the fact that its browser is already present on a huge number of computers to sell added services to people, who by and large aren’t currently paying the company at all.