The latest version of Firefox is out and about and this time Mozilla is serious about making an impact.
The open source organization behind Firefox is planning its biggest ever marketing push for the new release. According to analyst estimates, Firefox has a ten per cent share of the browser market and an installed base of 40-50 million users.
Christopher Beard, the vice president of products at Mozilla, said that Firefox 1.5 would be backed by a big marketing push that will include a community marketing campaign that will encourage Firefox fans to tell the world about their favorite browser by publishing home-made videos on a Mozilla Web site.
You will have real people telling you about Firefox’s features, what’s cool and great, said Beard. People can create the video and upload it to the Mozilla site. The video will then be reviewed and put on our Web site, with a link from their location.
The videos will be hosted on the SpreadFirefox community marketing site, which will display a world map with a dot marking each location where a video has been created.
But he admitted that there was no guarantee of how many people would actually get involved. It’s hard to tell, he conceded. With The New York Times’ ad campaign we thought it would take weeks to raise the money, but in less than 48 hours we had already raised enough for an ad. With this campaign it’s also uncertain – are we going to get hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of videos?
To incentivize users, prizes for the best videos will be awarded at the end of the campaign. Mozilla is also launching a separate competition to create a 30-second advert for Firefox, which will be open to everyone but will be particularly targeted at film students.
Mozilla also plans to launch a consumer-oriented Web site. Mozilla.com will become the main entry point for the Mozilla organization, rather than Mozilla.org.
Mozilla is also hoping to improve its consumer focus by offering a major release every six to nine months, rather than every two years. Firefox 2.0 is scheduled for release in the middle of 2006 and Firefox 3 is planned for the first quarter of 2007.