Brave and DuckDuckGo browsers hit Google where it hurts

The Brave browser has introduced a new feature called De-AMP which allows users to bypass Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) technology to allow them to directly load websites, DuckDuckGo has followed suit.

AMP is a technology that is now several years old, it was introduced in 2015, it has allowed Google to accelerate the transition of websites around the world to mobile. In concrete terms, this is a technology that makes it possible to offer a mobile-friendly experience with an interface designed for the small screens of our smartphones as well as web pages that load much faster for small connections.

This technology has been very quickly and massively widespread because Google has highlighted AMP-compatible web pages on its search engine (which is not necessarily the case anymore). You can very easily test AMP on Frandroid by simply adding /amp following the web addresses of our articles. You will see that the display of the pages is different, it is simplified and the advertising is differently integrated. Google’s interest is above all to be able to display advertisements in a better environment.

Brave decided to disable AMP by default, the publisher claiming in an article that this technology is “harmful to privacy” and “helps Google to monopolize and control more the direction of the Web”. DuckDuckGo has also made the decision to disable AMP on its browser, on all versions. This means that the web pages you load will no longer load in AMP on these alternative web browsers.

AMP technology is bad for privacy because it enables Google to track users even more (which is already a ton).

And, Google uses AMP to further entrench its monopoly, forcing the technology on publishers by prioritizing AMP links in search and favoring Google ads on AMP pages.

— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) April 19, 2022

Why is AMP criticized?

One of the problems with technology Accelerated Mobile Pages is that content created using AMP is usually served through a cache on Google’s server rather than actually being tied to the publisher’s server. By loading an article from a media site, for example, you are loading the page from Google’s servers. It also means that you are more likely to see Google advertising, AMP has been a way of promoting Google’s advertising technologies.

Another problem is that since AMP is a stripped down version of your original content, you are at the mercy of Google regarding how your content is actually displayed. Generally, you give up the general design of your page in exchange for a very fast download. Why ? Quite simply because AMP tools expressly limit the possibilities of developers to precisely reduce the size of web pages and therefore their loading.

An ethical web should be a user-centric web, where users control their browsing and know with whom they are communicating. AMP is incompatible with a user-centric web. De-AMP adds to Brave’s long list of features that put users first on the web“Brave said in its statement.

For now, the impact on Google’s revenue will be very limited. Brave and DuckDuckGo are two browsers that are far from having a significant market share, moreover, these web browsers already block ads by default.

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