Brave, the browser that has grown in popularity in recent years, takes another step forward in its quest to provide users with a more private and secure Internet experience. Starting today, Brave Browser users will have access to Brave Search in beta, an all-new search engine that offers “unmatched privacy.”
Brave Search was announced last March, and since its announcement, it has been tested by over 100,000 users. Brave, which prides itself on being a “browser reinvented”, recently surpassed 32 million monthly active users and hopes Brave Search will strengthen its role in the browser market.
The Brave Search beta is available to all Brave browser users on iOS, Android, and desktop starting today. At first, users will have to manually select Brave Search as their search engine option, along with other choices such as Google and Bing. However, Brave Search will become the default and standard search engine for Brave Browser later this year.
Unlike Google and others, Brave Search does not track users, their searches, or their clicks. Instead, Brave Search “puts users first and has full control over their online experience.” The “completely independent” search engine also promises full transparency, with no “secret methods or algorithms for biased results”, and will soon deploy “open community-curated ranking models to ensure diversity and prevent algorithmic bias” and censorship.
Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave, says the new search engine is the “true alternative” to Big Tech, such as Google, and gives users a new way to browse the web safely. and in private without caring about their privacy.
Unlike older search engines that track and profile users, and newer search engines that are mostly a skin on older engines and don’t have their own indexes, Brave Search offers a new way to get relevant results with an index fed by the community, while guaranteeing privacy. Brave Search fills a clear void in the market today, as millions of people have lost faith in the surveillance economy and are actively looking for solutions to control their data.
A major benefit for users using Brave Search, currently still in beta, is its ad-free experience. When the search engine leaves beta, Brave commits to giving users options for an ad-free search experience and a “free with ads” experience later. The company also said it would “explore the possibility of bringing private ads with a BAT revenue share to search,” as is the case for Brave Browser users.
Brave relies on its own index for the web, rather than Google Search and Microsoft Bing. To do this, Brave relies on “anonymized contributions from the community to improve and refine the results”.
In order to present a true independent alternative to big tech, Brave decided to build its own index rather than renting it to Google or Microsoft, as other smaller search engines currently do. Brave Search includes anonymized community contributions to improve and refine results.
At launch, Brave’s index will still struggle to reach Google and other levels with search queries such as image search. Until Brave’s index can grow, it will rely on the use of third-party APIs. Brave Search is also introducing an “independence metric” that will inform users of the independence of their search results to ensure there is no bias in the index or algorithm.
Brave Search also features the industry’s first measure of search independence, showing the ratio of results coming exclusively from Brave’s index. It is derived privately using the user’s browser as we do not create user profiles. Users can check this aggregated metric to check the independence of their results and see how the results are powered by our own index, or if third parties are being used for long-tail results while we are still building our index .
Brave Search beta is available starting today for Brave browsers on iOS, Android, and desktop. It will also be available to non-Brave browser users at search.brave.com