Willingness to make sacrifices for your principles is all well and good, but when you can take a moral stand and reap a material gain — well, that’s pretty nice, too.
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That’s what happened to OkCupid in the days since it started asking users to boycott Firefox, the browser made by Mozilla, which just appointed a CEO who opposes legalizing same-sex marriage. Via email, Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid and the CEO of IAC’s dating-focused Match Group, says registrations are up 30% in the last few days.
That’s what Yagan told me after I emailed to ask whether he was worried about potential blowback from the gesture. “The blowback is great,” he quipped.
While it looks like a win-win, the protest also appears to be coming to an early end. As CNET noticed, OkCupid has quietly stopped showing users arriving through Firefox a letter asking them to consider switching to a different browser. “I’m in negotiations with Mozilla on a resolution,” Yagan said when I asked him about the change.
From the start, the “boycott” was mostly a matter of symbolism. Only about 10% of OkCupid users access it through the browser, according to Yagan.
Overall, Firefox captures about 17.6% of the browser market. In March, it slipped to No. 3 among browsers, falling behind Google's Chrome for the first time, according to data from Net Applications. With many Mozilla employees showing a willingness to tolerate CEO Brendan Eich’s political views as long as they’re free to express their own, and as long as it doesn’t compromise the company’s official support for marriage equality, market share, not controversy, make be the Mozilla’s foremost concern.