Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Firefox ‘tell a friend’ feature

Another feature that’s coming to Firefox 1.0 is the ‘Tell a friend’ feature in the help menu. Here’s a screenshot:

Screenshot of Firefox's Tell A Friend feature

Clicking on the menu item goes to, which currently isn’t showing anything. The ‘Promote Firefox’ item also goes to the website, although it refers to a page that doesn’t yet exist. The domain is registered to the Mozilla Foundation in the name of Blake Ross who has been in charge of some of the community-orientated Firefox promotion campaigns lately.

Update: According to today’s Burning Edge entry, the SpreadFirefox site will not be active until PR1 (Preview Release 1) is out in a few weeks time.

incidentally it appears the ‘Release Notes’ item has now disappeared. This feature is included in nightly build from today. For the curious, there’s also a test build of Firefox 0.9.3 for Windows, however this may not be the final release.


  1. That has nothing to do with help and, therefore, does not belong in that menu.

  2. But surely, by telling a friend about Firefox, you’re helping them? 🙂
    Anyway, where would you put it? Help seems the most logical place in my view.

  3. I’d put it under “bloat”

  4. Personally, I can’t see that feature taking up more than a couple of kilobytes at most. I would hardly call that adding to the bloat, and it certainly didn’t seem to impact the size of the installer.

  5. Personally, I can’t see that feature taking up more than a couple of kilobytes at most…
    …which is fine and all, but this is how bloat starts. It starts with a feature that isn’t really needed, but it’s deemed so small that you might as well throw it in. Then other small features come along, none of which would be a problem if they were on their own, but get enough of them and you’re starting to get bloated.
    Besides, I would think that most sensible Internet users know enough to not use the ‘Tell a Friend’ features that many sites give, as they have no clue whether their own email address will be used for spam. Of course, it won’t be in this case, but I don’t really see this as being that great a feature myself.
    Also, I’ve just noticed. What’s with both menu entries – ‘Tell a Friend’ *and* ‘Promote Firefox’? Aren’t they, like, the same thing?

  6. Er, with all due respect: what’s wrong with you people? To respond to the complaints one by one:
    – Brant, lots of things don’t have to do with help. For example, “About Mozilla Firefox.” Or “Check For Updates” or “Activate Product” in Microsoft Word’s Help menu. Things get stuffed in help when they’re something you want the user to see and use occasionally but when you don’t want to clutter the frequently used menus. That’s just the way it is.
    – Axel, spending 1500 bytes on features that will, as you will see in about 3 weeks, generate over 50,000 referrals for us is not “bloat.” Make your case or stop trolling.
    – Ciaran, I can think of few features that are more needed than a mechanism for promoting Firefox. And the “Tell a Friend” page will spell out in bold, clear letters that e-mail addresses will not be harvested. And no, they aren’t the same thing.