It feels like Mozilla is reinventing the wheel here, based on what I see. I’m not so sure if it’s execution or the culture that’s holding them back though. If latter, it makes it a tougher situation to do advertising well.
This move doesn’t come as a major surprise. Mozilla has featured sponsored ‘Directory Tiles‘ in Firefox for a few months now, after all, and Suggested Tiles are the logical next step. Unlike Directory Tiles, which are the default tiles that appear for new users without a browsing history, Sponsored Tiles are based on your browsing history. To do this, the advertising service looks at your browsing history to figure out your interests by comparing it to a set of URLs that fit into a given category.