Brave, a web browser that blocks third-party trackers and unwanted ads from websites and allows users to reward preferred web content, has detailed how it accomplishes these things in a blog by Brendan Eich, founder, president and CEO.
Brave recently introduced a beta version of its bitcoin-based payment system that automatically pays the websites that users want to support. Brave will invite users to pay the web content providers they wish to support from pre-funded bitcoin wallets.
One of the ways Brave blocks unwanted ads and unwanted tracking pixels is with ad replacements.
Brave posted an image showing slow and often harmful ads that are not effective, along with other ads that are “first party” ads that remain on the web page after the unwanted ads are blocked.
The ads that Brave uses to replace unwanted ads generate revenue for both users and content providers. Brave ads use anonymous protocols as opposed to tracking pixels. The protocols confirm viewer impressions. These replacement ads have a negligible impact on loading performance.
Brave plans to release information about the anonymity of its protocols in the near future.
A posted image on Eich’s blog shows the websites before and after unwanted ads are replaced with Brave ads.
Brave users get paid 15% of the gross advertising revenue, the same amount Brave earns from the Brave ads. The balance of this revenue goes to the ad content partners and publishers that users want to support.
Users can route their earnings back to the sites they browse if they choose. They can also send more revenue through the use of a Brave wallet administered by BitGo.
Brave’s mock user interface design will eventually cover global defaults and site-specific override settings. Brave enables the following choices:
• Users can try Brave’s default mode of operation for a better ad-supported web. By leaving the “Replace Ads” button checked, the default mode of operation, Brave inserts ads after blocking without undermining page load speed. The ads will support the sites the user browses. Brave selects ads based on browser-private user data with no remote tracking – not even by Brave servers.
• Users can block all ads and trackers. To insert better ads with high performance and privacy, the user can check “Block Ads,” blocking everything.
• Users can try Brave without ad blocking or replacing, to get whatever ads and trackers they get in other browsers, by checking “Allow Ads and Tracking.” Brave still protects the user with HTTPS Everywhere and other defenses by default.
The Brave user wallet will become available in the coming months.
Brave wants users to draw from the wallet to support sites they favor with micropayments. The sites will be ad-free, even if the user chooses “Replace Ads.” Brave will not insert ads after blocking.
“Replacing Ads” means the user gets the same share of gross ad revenue (15%) that Brave gets. Once there are enough users to attract advertisers who meet Brave’s quality standards, the revenue will flow into users’ wallets as payments that arrive from the ad buyers. The purpose of the revenue is to support user-preferred sites with micropayments.
Users will also be able to add their own funds to their wallets to pay even more sites they wish to support. This option exists if a user blocks, replaces or allows ads.
Users can pay sites individually, or pay their top 20 sites with one click and browse ad-free on those sites. Users pay a fixed amount per ad-free article that they load each month, up to a monthly maximum that they can set.
Payments accumulate during the current month of browsing. At month’s end, payments go to the designated sites’ wallets. Users will have time to remove any sites or content they don’t want to support.
If wallet balance goes to zero, the user reverts to whichever replace/block/allow mode they chose as their default. With “Replace Ads,” the user builds up a new positive balance in their wallet as browsing resumes.
Brave wants to see most users exhaust their wallets each month by paying their top sites, rewarding those sites from ad replacement on other sites.
Brave will create a site wallet for users that own a website or blog on a hosting site. Brave will deposit a share of revenue from ads that perform on the website pages, along with payments from users who support the website.
Brave plans to eventually pay at least 55%, surpassing the current revenue share that is estimated to be no more than 45%.
To access funds from a wallet, a user has to verify identity with BitGo. The process will be explained in the near future.
Brave believes the system will reset the ad tech ecosystem for the benefit of content providers and users.
Images from Brave and Shutterstock.