Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has announced a brand new browser he is working on called Brave. Perhaps the most interesting feature in the browser is its approach to ads and ad-blocking.
On the official site for Brave, it is acknowledged that much of the “free” content that we all enjoy online is actually supported by advertisements, and the rise of ad-blockers is cutting into the revenue of publishers. On the other hand, many users would be happy to turn off ad-blockers and support publishers, if the ads weren’t so obnoxious. Ads have become more and more annoying, with autoplay videos being one of the worst ideas ever devised. As ads have grown more intrusive they have also grown more bloated. According to the Brave team, up to 60% of the load time on some sites is advertisements. Often times ads will track the browsing habits of users, and invade their privacy. Worst of all, are ads which can install dangerous malware on your computer.
Brave aims to deal with these issues and save the advertisement business model by offering better ads. The Browser automatically blocks all ads and replaces them with ones from its own ad network. These ads will only appear in a few standard locations. The ads will be safe and malware free. The ad network will protect users’ privacy, and will collect no personally identifiable information by default. Brave plans to share the revenue from their ad network with the publishers.
Currently there are versions of the browser under development for Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, and Android. The project is open source, so anyone can contribute if they have the skills. The browser is currently in its Beta stage, and you can sign up for it on the site. There is a wait-list, but when I signed up I was told I would be sent the download link shortly. Even though a Linux version is under development, the beta sign-up did not offer it as a choice of OS to select, so it may be further behind in development than other versions.
Can Brave Save the advertisement model for online content? Leave your comments below.