Brave, a free open-source and a privacy-focused browser is switching to its own search engine by default. This browser automatically blocks online advertisements and website trackers in its default settings.
Brave search will replace Google in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Qwant in France, and DuckDuckGo in Germany. Other countries will also adopt this search engine in the coming months.
This a substantial step for cookie search engine Brave, which was launched in public beta this year. The act of setting the search engine as default is a beneficial promotion tactic and so important that it has become significant focus of antitrust scrutiny. Google was fined $5 billion by EU regulators for illegally tying Google search to Android due to which Google now offers a choice of search engines.
Brave’s co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich said, “As we know from experience, in many browsers the default setting is crucial for adoption, and Brave Search has reached the quality and critical mass needed to become our default search option and offer our users a seamless privacy-by-default online experience. Its search engine now handles nearly 80 million queries per month.”
Being small, the browser’s market share does not even register against established competitors like Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Opera, as per the data from StatCounter. However, Brave claims its browser had almost 40 million active users per month, as of September 2021.
The move of boosting the search engine reflects the confidence in the new privacy-focused service and is notable for being built as an independent index of the web. The company claims its search engine does not track users, their searches, or their clicks. With this, a new opt-in system for users to contribute their data and help improve its search results is also being launched.
As of now, Brave Search is a free service and does not display any ads. However, the company has plans to roll out ads in its free version in the future, but an ad-free premium service will also be launched. Another plus, the makers have also launched the Web Discovery Project (WDP), which allows users to pitch in and improve the search engine by anonymously contributing data.