Eight or so years ago, Mozilla’s Firefox was the definitive web browser to use. It’s still popular with desktop users. But Mozilla was never able to cross over into mobile quite as well as Google was with Chrome or Apple was with Safari.
The most obvious reason being that both Google (Android) and Apple (iPhone) had created their own mobile devices where company-specific browsers were implemented out of the box.
But Mozilla’s Firefox was always there (albeit in the background). Firefox is an option when using both Android and iPhone devices. It’s just not an option that a lot of people are choosing. There isn’t a great reason why, either. It’s mostly that people will just use the browser that comes with the device. In other words, Mozilla has had a really hard time transitioning to mobile.
The Acquisition Stage
You might remember Pocket as being a Mozilla extension a few years ago. Pocket was Mozilla’s original (and possibly one of the original options) ‘save it now to read it later’ extension. Pocket has since turned into its own app, and the app is popular with mobile users. Pocket has around 10 million monthly active users. Mozilla has recently acquired Pocket and will use the company to push into the mobile space a bit more.
Mozilla won’t be changing anything at Pocket right now. In fact, Mozilla representatives have stated that they like the way Pocket is run and won’t change anything. Pocket is centered on the user experience, which is something that Mozilla likes. Further, mobile users actually like using Pocket, which is something that Mozilla hasn’t really seen from the company’s existing products.
Even though Pocket isn’t changing right now, Mozilla might change it in a year or so. The company stated today that mobile users need to find a way to filter noisy content with real journalism. Journalism, as it once was, has to compete with clickbait and content headlines created solely for the purpose of marketing.
Mozilla has always been a company that has tried to focus on capturing an audience that is not mainstream. In fact, this is what drew users to Firefox originally - it was the anti-browser. Pocket will be, in the future, the anti-content app. Rather, the reading app for people that want real news, real journalism, and important pieces of information - these are the people that do not read content that is not backed by some kind of truth.
Will Mozilla Succeed?
That is really the question here. Mozilla is a great company that is striving to do great things, but there’s a lot of content competition out there. Not only does Mozilla have to compete with Apple and Google browsers and mobile devices, Mozilla (with Pocket) will have to compete with content mills that are pushing out pieces so far from real journalism they’re shared with the masses millions of times.
Do people really want real news? Are mobile readers really looking for truth? Or are they happy with what’s being tossed around as journalism lately? Mozilla will find out the answers to these questions soon enough. For now, though, if you are a Pocket user you will be happy to know that it is not changing yet.