Brave, the privacy-focused browser that blocks third-party ads and trackers by default, is switching to using its own search engine by default, the company has announced. The change will be applied for new users, and will affect which search engine is used via the browser’s address bar. Brave Search will replace Google in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, Qwant in France, and DuckDuckGo in Germany. More countries will be switched over in the coming months.
It’s a significant step for Brave’s fledgling search engine, which launched in public beta earlier this year, since most people just take what they’re given. The search engine set as the browser default is a valuable promotion tactic, and so important that the practice has become a significant focus of antitrust scrutiny. In Europe, Google now offers a choice of search engines for Android users after it was fined $5 billion by EU regulators for, among other things, illegally tying Google search to Android. Over the years, Google has also paid companies like Apple and Firefox to be the default search engine in their browsers.
“As we know from experience in many browsers, the default setting is crucial for adoption”
“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 to offer our users a seamless privacy-by-default online experience,” Brave’s…