Activity Stream Snippets Launched in Firefox To Market Mozilla Offerings
- January 9, 2019
- 03:34 AM
Starting this past Monday, Mozilla officially launched their new Activity Stream Snippets in Firefox 64. These new snippets appear at the bottom of the New Tab page and include call to actions for giving donations, newsletter signups, and learning about the Mozilla podcast and Pocket offerings.
The Firefox Activity Stream is the various content Mozilla shows you on the browser New Tab page when it is opened. This content includes the top sites you visit, recommended Pocket stories, screenshots, and other content that Mozilla thinks you would find interesting.
Also included on this page are Snippets that are promotions pinned to the bottom of the browser window and overlay any content shown on the page. These snippets are used to promote various offerings by Firefox.
You can see an example of an activity stream snippet pinned to the bottom of the image below that is promoting Mozilla’s IRL podcast.
According to Mozilla bug report, these new Snippets launched on January 7th for 1% of the total Firefox 64 users and finally increases to a 100% rollout by January 17th 2019.
Below we show the various Activity Stream Snippets that are available with this launch and way to enable a devtool to play with them.
New Activity Stream Snippets
Using the AS Router Admin, otherwise known as the ASR devtools, it is possible to see a demo of the available Activity Stream Snippets. Below are some of the different ASR Snippets that are currently available.
Tip to create a Firefox account
This Snippet will display a tip suggesting that you create a Firefox account so that you can synchronize your Firefox preferences and use them at other PCs.
Clicking the Continue button on this Snippet will open up a form where you sign up for the Mozilla newsletter.
Mobile browser promotion
When a user clicks on the Install Now button in this Snippet, it will ask for a phone number that it will use to send a link to the mobile version of Firefox.
Donation Campaign Snippet
This Snippet is for their end of year donation campaign.
Onboarding Overlay Snippet
I believe this Snippet will be used for new users to provide a basic tutorial on how to use Firefox.
Extension Promotion Snippet
This Snippet appears to be part of the Onboarding process where Firefox promotes a particular extension.
To learn how to demo these new ASR Snippets yourself, you can enable a special devtool with the instructions below.
How to test the new Activity Stream Snippets
If you would like to test the new Activity Stream Snippets yourself, you first need to enable the ASR devtools.
To enable the ASR devtools, please follow these steps:
- Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and then press enter. When Firefox asks, click on the button stating that you accept the risks.
- In the search field enter browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.asrouter.devtoolsEnabled and when the setting appears, double-click on the name to toggle it to true to enable the Activity Stream (ASR) devtools.
- Now that the ASR devtools are enabled, you can enter about:newtab#asrouter into the address bar and press enter. This will open the ASR devtools, or the AS Router Admin, as shown below.
- To play with the Snippets, scroll down until you see the Messages section. Under this section is a list of Snippets that you can force to show at the bottom of your open browser window by clicking on the Show button.
- Once you click on the Show button, the Snippet will be displayed at the bottom of the screen as shown below.
After you show a Snippet, Firefox blocks it from being displayed again. If you wish to see the Snippet again, simply click on the Unblock button and the Show button will become available again.