Brave Technologies, a company seen as a privacy-respecting alternative to Big Tech, has recently had its search engine pass 2.5 billion queries. As of last year, the company had over 50 million monthly users.
In a recent press release, Brave Technologies announced that its search engine (a totally independent alternative to Google) has passed 2.5 billion queries in its first year of Beta. The company’s powerful combination of tools — its search engine, browser, and video conferencing functionality–are increasingly popular with users seeking to avoid the growing power of Big Tech.
For comparison’s sake, Google took more than a year — and DuckDuckGo took over four years — to reach the level of traffic that Brave enjoys.
So, why are people switching to Brave?
Brave has as its “core principles” the following five points:
- Independence: We serve results from our own built-from-scratch index of the Web
- Privacy: We don’t track you, your searches, or your clicks
- User-first: We put you first, not the advertising or data industries
- Transparency: We don’t censor, bias, filter, or downrank results (unless legally required to)
- Seamlessness: Brave can offer a best-in-class integration between the browser and search — from personalisation to instant results as you type — without compromising privacy
A Privacy-Respecting Alternative to Google
Brave pitches itself as a serious alternative to Big Tech, particularly Google, which dominates the search market — over 85% of users surf the web via the tech giant’s search engine, and around 60% of browsers are run by Google.
In their own words, Brave was created “to give everyone online a real choice over Big Tech: a privacy-protecting, unbiased alternative to Google and Bing, and a truly independent alternative to providers — such as DuckDuckGo or Startpage — that rely on Big Tech to run.”
Joseph M. Pujol, the Chief of Search at Brave, had the following to say:
“Since launching one year ago, Brave Search has prioritized independence and innovation in order to give users the privacy they deserve. The Web is changing, and our incredible growth shows that there is demand for a new player that puts users first.”
In true Brave form, Brave finished its recent press release with the following quip:
“Ever hear the phrase “Let me Google that for you?” How about letting Brave de-Google that for you instead?”
And, thanks to the phenomenal growth Brave has enjoyed, they are delivering on that promise.
World-Class Search and Privacy Functionality
Another reason users have stuck with Brave is the engine’s ability to not only compete with Big Tech but to innovate beyond it.
For example, Brave Browser automatically blocks adverts and trackers as you browse the web. This is a win, win situation for the user. It means a nicer browsing experience as well as a faster one.
Brave has also harnessed functionality to seamlessly integrate private “fallback mixing” into its search results, allowing it to anonymously check Google in some situations where its own web index is still incomplete.
The search engine provides “independence scores” to show users what percentage of their search results are from Brave’s own index and what percentage are from their fallback mixing feature. One year ago, the search results were 87% independent; that number is now 92%.
To top it all off, Brave Browser actually pays you (in cryptocurrency) to view privacy-respecting ads as you browse.
Brave finishes their release with the following words:
“Coupled with our privacy browser, Brave now provides the first truly viable, private browser+search alternative to the Big Tech platforms. We’re making it seamless for users to browse and search with guaranteed privacy, all while fighting the censorship and overreach of Big Tech companies.”
Now that is something I can get on board with.