DOTW: Brave Browser! Will it fix the web?

Next weeks DOTW: Custom Community Titles! What other rewards do you want for leveling up?

Last weeks discussion: WordPress Multisite - Thanks to everyone who participated!

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This week we’re going a little away from WordPress itself but still relevant for any website owners/managers/developers and the like.

Brave browser! (brave.com)

Their mission and browser description; taken from their about page:

Brave is on a mission to fix the web by giving users a safer, faster and better browsing experience – while growing support for content creators through a new attention-based ecosystem of rewards.

Brave is open source, and built by a team of privacy focused, performance oriented pioneers of the web, founded by the inventor of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla.

Some of you may already be using Brave, or at least aware of it, as it was founded back in 2015. I just recently heard about it through a YouTuber(Philip DeFranco) - you’ll likely be hearing more and more about Brave from content creators due to their Brave Payments system.

Brave Payments (brave.com): “How does it work? Readers may choose a monthly contribution amount which is divided among the publisher sites they visit most.” *publishers must be verified by Brave

Now that all sounds pretty good, but of course no ad blocker is perfect so it likely will block some content that it shouldn’t.

Webmasters should also be aware that it blocking all ads and trackers by default means that Google Analytics is being blocked. So unless the Brave user makes an exception for your site, you will be getting visits/activity that won’t be reflected in your analytics.

Dev tools look similar to Chrome, but in my short time testing it I noticed it's lacking at least couple features that would be important to a lot of us I think. Such as a responsive mode and ability to dock on the browser window.(unless I missed them?)

Brave’s 2017 Achievements and 2018 Goals (brave.com)

Hopefully, that gives you all a good idea of what Brave is all about. I’ll leave most of my own opinions and thoughts for the discussion below.

Questions:

1. Do you use Brave? How do you like it? What about dev tools?
2. If you used Brave then stopped… why?
3. Does Brave activity not showing up in your analytics worry you at all?
4. Thoughts on using Brave Payments to support content creators?

Those are just general questions to get the conversation started - feel free to comment with any and all thoughts!

As mentioned earlier, I only just found out about it recently so haven’t had a ton of time to play with it yet but it definitely caught my attention - really interested to hear what you all think.

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  • Nick Simpson

    I for one have not heard of Brave before. However, it sounds like a Utopian idea that would most likely only really work if there were a majority of the web moving to a "Pay It Forward" system like this. Most webmasters will balk at not being given analytics. However, I see larger content publishers loving this without that information as long as their take is enough money.

    In a closed ecosystem, it seems hard to avoid the big from getting bigger and the small guys from getting pushed to the background. If there is any logic to avoid this as the system grows, I do think there is potential.

    I don't know if breaking into the browser market is a bigger issue or generating enough revenue share to beat ads or simple micro-payment donations that many smaller content creators find themselves moving toward.

    So, I guess I'm off to go give it a look, you certainly have my interest peaked.....does anybody know what the size of the current user base it on Brave?

  • DigiBlueArc

    Hi Tyler, Kudos on DOTW, it's creating useful discussions.

    Seems to me that Brave just might become the king (lion) of browsers. Without the ads, it loads sites fast. It's also easy to adjust to your own needs. At first it had some glitches and even tended to lag a bit, but the last couple upgrades have corrected most of that and after being skeptical to start, it's impressive.

    It's too bad the advertisers drove browsers to this point, they have killed browser speed. When I compared Chrome side by side, it blew me away. It's certainly easier to use than tor with basically the same private browsing.

    I haven't used many of the developer tools yet but I checked out the repository at Github and it looks impressive. The one thing I didn't' think I'd like but I do is when you cursor over a tab it shows you the page, that's cool.

    Move over Chrome, you have competition.
    --rick

  • Debbie

    Hi Tyler,
    I like the idea of sparking participation with these discussions, thank you!

    Today is the first I'd heard of Brave, so I don't have experience to report. I do like the idea of my searches and browsing not being tracked - I often use duckduckgo for my own searches, so I'm looking forward to trying this too. Although, while Brave blocks ads and trackers, they do collect personal information, so it's not going to give the same private experience as duckduckgo.
    That said, Google having some competition could be a good thing!

  • Kaiberie

    I do use it and like it, but it’s not my primary browser choice. As others have mentioned it has been a bit rocky in the past, but much better now.
    I don’t think it will take on the big browsers though, no. The average non-techie end user won’t look at something unfamiliar without advocacy - I personally know that getting older relatives from IE to Chrome has proved to be difficult, if not impossible.
    I’ll think more on the other questions when functioning on more than three hours sleep if that’s ok :slight_smile:

    Kai

  • DigiBlueArc

    Hey Debbie,

    When you're using brave, click on the 3 lines on the top left and you'll find a link "New Private Tab". When you click on that tab, you are browsing that is not logged and cookies are deleted when you close it. Also, you can turn on private search through, you guessed it, DuckDuckGo. I think brave is on the right track for browsing as we all thought would be until advertisers went to far. Good browsing. --rick

  • Igor P

    Hi Tyler, it seems like Brave is an interesting browser (fast, private, open source, fair monetization, etc.). I've never tried it, but would like to experiment. In any case, competing with the Big Brother is tough, so I hope they will find a particular user base.

    I tried Vivaldi browser when it was released and was surprised by its UI and UX, but didn't stick to it anyway, as I'm an avid user of Firefox. I've been using it all the time, occasionally switching to other browsers. It's still my favorite one, and with the latest updates (Firefox Quantum) it's super fast, light, customizable, private and provides amazing UX.

  • Tuomas

    I haven't personally used Brave, but I am a little skeptical of it. It does seem like an interesting idea, but as Nick said, quite a bit utopian. The practicality of micropayments and tracking of content producers isn't easy to crack.

    And barring webmasters of analytics on browser level isn't very nice. I'm a little worried there is a premium "browser-based analytics" feature in the future. Being Open Source doesn't necessarily protect us from it.

  • Jaxom

    Hi Tyler Postle

    Like Baldafrican I had never heard of Brave until this discussion.
    I had a look and it looks very interesting and a novel way to monetise a website.
    Our new project is a Music Publishing site that doesn't charge Artists to upload there music so how we monetise the site is very important.
    I have signed that site up on Brave to see how it goes and what kind of traffic we can expect from it.
    My only concern is accurate data analysis (as you said) so we are looking at away to determine which users come via Brave.

    Jaxom
    PS. Love these new weekly discussions, way to go Tyler Postle

    • Tyler Postle

      Nice! Would be really interested to hear how the monetization through Brave goes and also if you find a way to determine users coming from Brave :slight_smile:

      The monetization method I think is really cool. Reminded me of Twitch. Not sure how many here use Twitch.tv, but it's largely built around gamers streaming themselves playing video games. Anyways, they support a subscription and donation platform so you can subscribe and donate to your favourite streamers/entertainers which seems to work very well to support both the streamers and Twitch without needing to have a ton of ads everywhere. They do still have some if you're logged out but yeah my main point is that I like this whole idea of having a unified method to directly support every site you visit.

      I've switched my default mobile browser to Brave, but will be holding onto Chrome as my default on Desktop for now anyway. I find my desktop default is whichever browser's dev tools I'm most comfortable with :smiley: I use to only use Firefox cause I first learned about dev tools from using Firebug but then Firebug was discontinued and I jumped over to Chrome.

  • Bill

    Hi Tyler Postle,

    This was the first I heard of Brave as well. So the first thing I did was go out an download it to give it a try. I made it my default browser.

    A few years ago I went over to Opera because I have a bad habit of having browser windows open on 2 screens with 3 to 5 tabs each and a third window on the third monitor with Newtflix or Amazon Prime going for white noise while I work. Chrome and FireFox were sluggish as all get out (I gave up on using IE 10 years ago). Opera did real well, however it has been getting slowr and slower as time has progressed.

    So far, I Brave has been doing a GREAT job for me! Response time is great, even with multiple windows and multiple tabs on each open.

    I love the fade through of tabs on the hover.It has come in handy a few times now jumping between tabs.

    It has crashed for no apparent reason a few time but since installing it, it has had 2 or 3 updates this week. The other place it crashed was here on WPMUDEV. I tried to make a new post and when I clicked on the link icon, Brave froze and closed.

    Thanks for pointing Brave out to us. I will be staying with it as my default browser for the time being.

  • blue

    I have not heard of Brave, but I'm glad someone is trying something different. Here is why, and I'll share with a photograph.

    Notice in that screenshot, my Adblock is on. In the bottom right, that's a full length movie with full surround sound blaring at me.

    Is this what the web has really come to? We're all now a part of a global algorithm where it seems the only reason to put content out onto the web is to see how well we can be monetized. In part my point relates to 3) about analytics. I think this is what you get while we're in a world of filter bubles and AI all thanks to analytics. This is not how the web should be. I don't know if Brave is the answer, but I'm glad as an internet community we're getting fed up with web experiences like in that screen shot, and someone is putting forward some real initiative to reestablish its integrity.

    Personally, if other people are frustrated with similar experiences on the web, I rediscovered something really cool to recommend where I can get very high quality information, in peace and quiet, absolutely free, and no one shouting ads at me - It's called the Library, haha!

  • David

    To be honest, the biggest two issues I can see here are the skewing of Google Analytics and also the concept of payments.

    I don't think this is groundbreaking enough to shake up Chrome. It's a nice idea but I'm not convinced. People are too used to accessing information for free on the WWW. Some of us are happy to pay to pass through firewalls on our favourite newspapers or magazines etc. I'm not sure the appetite exists for this concept.

    As for Google Analytics - we're all accustomed to how Google Analytics works and pretty much have accepted this, well you have to really at the moment. Is this concept compelling enough to challenge the status quo? Sadly, I don't think so. This could be one of those ideas that leads to a better idea further down the line.

  • Tyler Postle

    Thanks to everyone who has chimed in on this so far. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Brave as it develops, interested to see what happens. I think them targeting content creators to get them on board with it was a great idea. I think they might have the best browser logo too :smiley:

    The next DOTW will be a little delayed as I'm waiting for an update to the site before I post it. I think you all and anyone who participates in the community here will enjoy it though :wink:

    Should be up within the next 24 hours.

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