Firefox lost 56 million users in 2 years – why it can’t keep up with Chrome and Safari


Mozilla Firefox has taken significant steps this year to gain more users, including a redesign that makes its user interface clutter-free and privacy-focused to appease security-conscious internet users. Despite these efforts, in June Firefox held only 3.2% of the global browser market share, according to Statista.

The worst part is that Firefox is also struggling with user growth. According to Firefox Public data report, the browser has lost 56 million users in the past two years. Firefox’s grip on the browser market is shrinking as Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari continue to attract more users (h / t Gizmodo).

Firefox exposes significant drop in number of monthly active users

In January 2019, Firefox Monthly Active Users (MAUs) climbed to around 254 million. In July 2021, Firefox’s MAU figure dropped to 198 million. In two years, the browser has lost 56 million users.

Firefox Data Report

Firefox Public Data Report (Image credit: Firefox)

The report explains that Firefox experienced drops in MAU in late spring and early summer, as well as at the end of the year (for the holidays).

However, the report glossed over the fact that nearly 60 million users have abandoned the browser since 2019. The question is, why? Gizmodo postulates that the drop suggests users are ditching Firefox in favor of Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari, which are conveniently pre-downloaded on many Android and iPhone devices, respectively.

In addition to this, Firefox uses Google as the default search engine. Why bother using a browser that offers some of Google’s search prowess when you can enjoy Chrome in all its glory?

Last August, Mozilla renewed its contract with Google, ensuring that Google will remain Firefox’s default search engine provider until 2023. According to ZDNet, the deal is worth between $ 400 million and $ 450 million a year. Most of Firefox’s revenue comes from Google.

As mentioned, Firefox made some drastic changes to its user interface with Firefox 89, but that may have backfired. Some users reacted negatively to the redesign. Although Firefox has tried to bow to the privacy-conscious crowd with updates that promote security, some have argued the tweaks were not adequate, according to Gizmodo.

Still, Firefox’s 198 million MAU figure is not to be despised. Firefox managed to secure third place behind two browser giants: Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari. However, if Firefox does nothing to stop the mass exodus of users leaving the browser, it could drop to fourth place very soon.

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