Firefox’s latest experiment recommends stories based on your browsing historyAugust 7, 2018
Firefox is launching a new experimental browser extension called Advance, which recommends new websites and articles based on what you’re currently reading and your recent browsing history.
There are two parts to Advance: a “Read Next” section, which recommends related articles based on your current tab, and a broader “For You” section, which uses your recent history to populate its recommendations. In an example, Firefox said that when browsing, say, a list of popular restaurants, Advance could recommend other, similar eateries to make it easier for you to compare them.
All the recommendations are personalized to the specific user, unlike the company’s sponsored Pocket integration, which shows a mix of paid ads and regularly recommended articles (although it’s easy to imagine that Firefox could use Advance as a similar source of revenue down the line if it’s successful).
Advance is powered by a machine learning startup called Laserlike, which specializes in recommendations. As a security measure, users will have full control over when Advance is running, be able to see what browser history Laserlike has been granted, and request deletion of that information if they choose.
Advance is part of Firefox’s Test Pilot program, which the company uses to test new features for users who want to try them before rolling them out to the main app. Interested users can sign up and install Advance here.