Mitchell BakerChief Executive Officer, Chairwoman of Mozilla Foundation
2021 opened people’s eyes – inside Mozilla and out – to what matters most. You see it in all walks of life: people reconsidering career paths, launching new projects, reassessing their priorities. The internet was not exempt. As an essential part of the infrastructure of daily life, many realized the internet simply does not work for them as well as it should. They also realized they don’t have to accept it as is. People want a safer, more joyful, less toxic and exploitative internet. That’s what Mozilla is building -- from offering a trusted VPN globally and bringing new privacy products and features to market, to encouraging platforms like Facebook and YouTube to get better at handling false and harmful content, and through our advocacy for a more privacy-preserving advertising ecosystem. People want a better Internet, and we at Mozilla are here to deliver it with them.
Our job now is to use this momentum to build the products and technology that connect people to the joy of the internet and deliver on the promise of a better internet.
We took a long hard look at our products and began a process of reassessment. How could they improve to bring people more satisfaction, more safety, and less harm?
For Firefox, we started at the beginning. What should the role of the browser be on today’s internet? Historically the browser’s job has been to get out of the way, but we asked ourselves, could we create a Firefox that was not intrusive but directly improved people’s online experience, programmed to create an experience that was more delightful, more efficient and worked better on their behalf? Yes. We obsessed over eliminating distractions, extra clicks and wasted time, and created a redesigned browser that is simple, modern, and beautiful. This improved Firefox supports what people do most in Firefox. We followed with improved mobile and desktop features that speed up navigation and features that make browsing more colorful and enjoyable.
Yet, we know you cannot truly enjoy the internet if it’s not safe, which is why we’ve continued to ship industry leading privacy protections in Firefox, including our award winning complete protection against cookie-based cross-site tracking and introducing HTTPS by default, automatically establishing a secure, encrypted connection over HTTPS whenever possible. We launched Relay and Relay Premium, our newest privacy and security product, a tool to allow people to protect themselves from the unceasing spam in their inboxes and safe from hackers and breaches. We also expanded our VPN offering to 9 new countries and improved our feature set to ensure our VPN is best in class.
In light of the infodemic that coincided with the pandemic, we invested further in Pocket, our product that encourages deep reading and allows people to engage with information online on their own terms. We published more than 200 collections of curated articles to inform and inspire. We brought on 50 new advertisers, expanded into new markets and welcomed new syndicated partners into the Pocket family. Pocket continues to prove that good quality content alongside a strong brand and partners is a recipe for success.
As advertising changes and the future of the web’s business model hangs in the balance, we have been exploring new and responsible ways to monetize that align with our values and set us apart. We’ve long believed the deprecation of cookies and a reckoning of the online advertising ecosystem was coming — and was much needed. Now it is here, and we are positioned to navigate the industry toward a new model of responsible advertising that respects people while delivering value to companies.
By building products for the future, we are building a business for the future. Our investments and decisions have begun to bear fruit.The work we’ve done during the last few years to diversify our revenue sources and build a company and foundation with a strong and stable revenue base positions us well for the years to come.
In many ways 2021 was a bridge to our future. We recommitted to our core goal: to build world-class products and programs that reflect our core values and help solve the problems of today’s internet. We focused on our users, reimagined the experience and value of our products, and put ourselves in a strong financial position to take on what’s next. All of this work was done alongside Mozilla's advocacy and philanthropy teams, who work with people around the world to champion the same values that guide our products. It is our unique ability to offer consumer products and services while also driving internet policy, and advocating for tech ecosystem change that will allow us to create not only a better internet for our users, but help build a better internet for all users.
With the wind of change at our back, we are poised to shepherd in a new era online and help guide people through a better, more joyful internet. I couldn’t be more excited.