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Jenna Ott

By Jenna Ott

May 24, 2019


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Web Design  |   News

The new Firefox update is harder, better, faster, stronger

Jenna Ott

By Jenna Ott

May 24, 2019

The new Firefox update is harder, better, faster, stronger

You may have heard the news that this week saw the release of an upgraded Firefox.

For those of us keeping up, we know that last year’s rollout of the Quantum browser was a big deal for the speedsters in all of us, but this week’s upgrade is quite simply… fire.

Harder — to invade your privacy

With a fingerprinting and crypto-mining blocker, users gain the ability to minimize the amount of targeted content that is put in front of them due to any given browser search.

This means that when you search for “Game of Thrones Starbucks Snafu,” you won’t get inundated with ads for coffee for the next three days.

Privacy features also go so far as to allow you to personalize your private browsing settings.

With this new setting, you’ll no longer have to keep re-entering passwords when you are in private mode. Plus, you can continue to set the add-ons and extensions that you want to enable or disable when you are in private browsing mode.

These upgraded privacy features are great and I don’t think any of us hasn’t had a moment where we wish the internet would leave us to search for our Game of Thrones Easter Eggs without fear of advertisement overload.

But as marketers, this does pose a bit of a challenge when trying to get a product or service in front of a prospect.

We need to be respectful and cognizant of our role in reaching our audience without completely invading their privacy.

Better — browsing experience and accessibility

Besides the above-mentioned privacy features, the upgraded Firefox aims to deliver a new browsing experience through innovation.

With video being the most effective and engaging medium for content consumption online, it’s no surprise that an AV1 update has been rolled out to support smoother video playback.

AV1 promises the delivery of 4K UHD video using 30% less data meaning users can look forward to a faster hi-res experience.

The upgraded browser also features a fully-accessible toolbar. The goal behind this is to increase accessibility to the web for more people regardless of their abilities.

These features are particularly exciting as they improve the user experience, provide even more access to engaging content, and create more avenues for connecting with a wider audience.

Stronger — security features

Now, these go hand-in-hand with the privacy features already discussed above.

A major security feature of this upgrade is that it prevents your browser from loading disingenuous content by including lists of rules and domain names of the sort. Thus, it decreases the amount of misleading information being shown to the browser.

Another a security feature that also adds some convenience to our lives is the ability to save passwords from a private tab.

All of this gives people a bit more peace of mind, but what does it mean for us as marketers?

The biggest takeaway, for me, is the importance of ensuring that all of the content a company or organization is putting out is authentic and follows SEO best practices to ensure that it is shown to your audience.

And, if you don’t already have it, your site needs an SSL certificate!

Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 6.23.28 AM

Faster — just, faster

This appears to be the highlight of the Firefox update.

Separate from the features already mentioned that are supporting speed increases, like the AV1 video upgrade, the entire browser now boasts an impressive speed increase of up to 80% faster than one year ago.

The update makes big strides in loading essential content first and placing a delay on non-essential scripts. This comes in the form of protocols like not loading the auto-fill module if there is no form on the page.

This means that we need to be focused on making sure that our webpages are designed with a purpose.

If a form exists, it should exist as the ultimate goal of a page, with pertinent content supporting the end result of prospects' and customers' engagement.

Similar to how mobile browsers clear idle tabs from their memory to improve performance, this new upgrade suspends idle tabs if your desktop memory falls below 400MB.

Increased speeds mean decreased page load times.

This is a benefit to any website given the impact site speed can have on a business. Years ago, Amazon did a test and determined that they would lose $1.6 billion per year if their site speed was just one second slower.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Firefox update and its exciting speed increase is only as effective as the efforts taken to improve your site’s speed.

Moz recommends taking a number of steps to improve your site speed such as image and video compression, reducing redirects, and leveraging browser caching.

Easy updates like these to your own site will help you make the most of browser updates like this one.

The takeaway

All in all, this latest upgrade to Firefox comes with some pretty impressive features that focus on an improved user experience.

It also comes with some new challenges to marketers.

The good news is that many of these challenges can be addressed by simply following some best practices that already exist but may not be widely used… yet.

You should be looking at these challenges as new opportunities to not only capitalize on a browser that is improving the user experience, but to improve your own website and content experience in the process.

If you get the chance to test drive the new Firefox in the next few days or weeks, please share your thoughts with the IMPACT community!

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