New browser in town: ‘Brave’ takes a bold step towards ad blocking & UX

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Brave was once just a browser for mobiles and tablets. Formerly known as Link Bubble. The app would enable users to open links to webpages in the background without needing to shift to their default browser app, thereby saving time. It was and is still a very convenient solution for seamless mobile experience.

This time, Brave has entered the big leagues – the desktop browsing league. And although there are numerous browsers that range in scope and features, Brave makes a name for itself by going after ads and user experience. Countless websites have been victim to ad-blocking software in recent days and Brave wants to help direct those ads to people who really need it.

Brave tries to solve this problem by having a payment system by which users pay Brave through Bitcoin to sites that they visit. This way they can actually visit the site ad-free but the site also gets its payment without needing to serve impressions.

The code devised for carrying out these transactions has been made open-source for duplication as well as for auditing. The big question, however, is will users move to Brave and start paying for the sites they want to visit? What about the websites out there that feature ads but aren’t visited by users? If a user visits only a few sites in the week, only those websites will be paid, leaving out all the lesser popular sites.

With ad-blockers available at fingertips, question remains if users would want to pay for browsing sites. Another question to ponder is how the sites will adapt to users who have opted to not see any of the ads? Will they be automatically closed or is there a separate code to be written on the website to detect if it’s a Brave-authenticated user?

Brave is co-founded by former Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich. The browser appears to carry forward the ideology of Mozilla to make web more open.

For now, many answers will be available only after the beta testing is complete. The browser is currently riddled with bugs, given the new and complex payment system. But once it’s all been squashed, there should be a final build ready.

It takes a lot of courage to start a new browser on desktop, and Brave surely has the guts.

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