Brave, a browser that improves browsing speed by eliminating unwanted ads has generated largely positive feedback from users.
Brave was developed as a solution for web users frustrated with the pervasive advertising that slows data connections and clogs web pages with tracking pixels, scripts and ads. Many users also appreciate the fact that the Brave browser does not track their online activity.
Brave’s browser blocks impression tracking pixels, ad-click confirmation signals, and initial signaling/analytics scripts that start programmatic advertising.
Brave claims it will replace unwanted ads with content that users want. It will also generate revenue for both users and content providers. Brave ads use anonymous protocols as opposed to tracking pixels. The protocols confirm viewer impressions. The replacement ads have a negligible impact on loading performance.
Brave calculates how often a user visits websites, then allocates bitcoin to those sites the user wants to support from the user’s pre-funded bitcoin wallet. Users can send payments to sites of their choosing at whatever level of support they choose.
The Brave payments user interface allows the user to select the sites they wish to support by disabling or enabling funding for all sites they visit.
Contributions from users are sent to a bitcoin escrow wallet managed by Brave. When bitcoin contributions to a website equal $100 USD, the system emails the site’s webmaster and the registered domain owner, launching the publisher’s verification process. The email explains how the publisher verifies their bitcoin wallet. For publishers that don’t have a bitcoin wallet, the email explains how to create one.
Up to 60% of page load time is due to ad technology that browsers typically load into various places every time a user hits a page on their favorite news site, according to Brave. A fifth of this time is spent loading things that are trying to learn more about the user.
On its website, Brave offers an example of news page data and load time with the tracking allowed and the normal ads that are allowed. It contrasts this with the same page data and load time with tracking blocked and the normal ads blocked.
Brave has integrated “HTTPS Everywhere” to every Brave browser to ensure users are always moving their bits across the safest possible channel.
Some observers are envisioning Brave becoming a more enterprising browser than it currently is or than the browsers it seeks to replace.
Paying websites is only the first step, one user commented on Reddit. Farther into the future, Brave will pay users to browse the web, then use anonymous browser history to compete with Google as an advertising network. They will allow the user to choose between micropayments or ads.
The Reddit poster did not see this as a negative role for Brave. “I think there’s an extremely good chance this is the thing that takes bitcoin mainstream,” he wrote.
The Reddit discussion indicated there are different expectations for the Brave browser, as would be expected with a new concept.
While there were many supportive comments, one poster said: “Hijacking all advertising with your own and then offering the site a small portion of the loot is just a terrible idea for everyone other than Brave.”
Another noted: “Seems like the first step toward turning the Internet into a subscription based service like Netflix. Not a fan.”
On the other side of the debate, one post said: “I’ve switched to Brave on my laptops a month ago and haven’t looked back, so I can answer this: Firefox feels slow and clunky compared to Chromium. The parallelism and isolation Chromium provides for each tab makes it much more reliable. And the reason I don’t simply switch to Chrome then is because I trust Brave with my privacy much more than I do Google.
“So in a sense I’m getting the best of both worlds, the browsing privacy I’d expect when using Firefox with the performance of Chrome. Plus I get to support the bitcoin economy while browsing. The only downsides I’ve seen so far are that this is an in-development browser so it crashes sometimes, and secondly the group-of-tabs UI is annoying.”
Images from Brave.