Mozilla began running an experiment in early September, testing Microsoft’s Bing as the default search engine for Firefox, according to its latest announcement.
About 1% of the total Firefox desktop user base is participating in the test. The company expects to run the test into early 2022.
The announcement, which the company says is part of optimizing the Firefox experience, was made on Mozilla’s SUMO site. SUMO stands for SUpport.MOzilla.org. These studies are “part of optimizing the Firefox experience” for users.
“Firefox is currently running a study that may cause some users to notice that their default search engine has changed,” the company wrote in a post.
Mozilla also provided a way to revert to the search engine of choice.
The search panel in Firefox Settings allows users to customize search options. Anyone can add or remove search engines, change their default search engine, assign or change keyword shortcuts, turn the search bar on or off, and choose whether to display search suggestions first or not at all.
Mozilla and Google renewed their search agreement in August 2020. The deal aimed to ensure that Google would remain the default search engine inside the Firefox browser until 2023, reportedly at a price tag of around $400 million to $450 million per year.
Some of Mozilla’s revenue comes from search engine companies like Google, Yandex in Russia, and Baidu in China, but the company has been exploring new revenue sources. The company has become more visible to consumers.
In June, Mozilla announced a data-sharing platform and plugin. The company claims it is the first in the browser space.
The Mozilla Rally platform, built for the browser based on privacy and transparency, puts users in control of their data and allows them to contribute their browsing data to crowdfunded projects.