Info on Private Browsing Usage Trends Released
Article by George Norman
On 24 Aug 2010
What makes the Firefox browser such a big hit with users all over the world? Well, there are the looks, the functionality, the ease of use, and the focus on privacy. Ever since Firefox 3.5 was rolled out, the Mozilla-developed browser has the Private Browsing feature to offer. Thanks to this feature the user can surf the web safe in the knowledge that no information about his session will be stored by the browser.

When do you think most users activate the Private Browsing feature? An answer to this question has been offered by Mozilla’s metrics team. The metrics team gathered information provided by Test Pilot users and came up with some interesting statistics.


It turns out the Private Browsing usage spikes at certain times of the day:
Lunch – most likely because employees on their lunch break like to keep their browsing habits private.
Just after 5PM – Private Browsing usage spikes just after 5PM, when most users return from work or from school.
Between 9 and 10PM – another usage spike is recorded just after dinner.
After midnight – according to the metrics team, an hour or two after midnight a minor Private Browsing usage spike is recorded.

Another interesting question is “how long do people use Private Browsing?” The metrics team has an answer for this question as well: most people use it for about 10 minutes. If Private Browsing usage spikes throughout the day, there are no significant fluctuations in the amount of time users spend in Private Browsing mode.

The metrics team put these statistics together thanks to all the Test Pilot users out there. Test Pilot is an add-on that was first announced back in January 2009, then it was released to the public back in August 2009. The add-on finally reached version 1.0 about a month ago. If you are on Firefox 3.6 and you want to help Mozilla out, you can get the add-on (see here and here ). If you’re on Firefox 4 Beta, you don’t have to get the add-on because Test Pilot is integrated in the browser.

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Private Browsing, Test Pilot
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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