Brave is ignoring Google AMP pages because they’re ‘harmful to users’

Brave is ignoring Google AMP pages because they’re ‘harmful to users’

On Tuesday, Brave launched De-AMP, a new feature for its browser that automatically skips over any page generated with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages framework and redirects users to the original website. In a blog post, Brave stated, “Wherever practicable, De-AMP will rewrite links and URLs to prevent visitors from viewing AMP pages altogether.” “In the event that this isn’t possible, Brave will monitor page fetching and redirect users away from AMP pages before they’re even rendered, preventing AMP / Google code from being loaded and run.”

De-AMP was framed by Brave as a privacy feature, and the company was forthright about its feelings regarding Google’s vision of the web. “In practise, AMP is bad to consumers and the Web as a whole,” Brave’s blog post stated, before going on to explain that AMP offers Google even more information about users’ browsing patterns, confuses users, and is typically slower than standard web sites. It also cautioned that the future version of AMP, dubbed AMP 2.0 so far, will be even worse.

Although Brave’s stance is exceptionally strong, the tide has swung dramatically against AMP in recent years. The framework was built by Google to make mobile webpages easier to use and faster, and it is now handled by a community of open-source developers. It was divisive from the start, and some saw it as Google attempting to exercise even more control over the internet. Over time, more businesses and individuals became concerned about that control, and Google’s decision to emphasise AMP pages in search results irritated them. AMP — and comparable efforts like Facebook Instant Articles — became less essential as the rest of the internet worked out how to produce good mobile sites.

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Users can easily skip through AMP pages thanks to a number of popular apps and browser extensions, and publishers have mostly abandoned the format in recent years. AMP has also been a part of Google’s antitrust battle: a complaint claimed that AMP helped Google consolidate its power as an ad exchange by making non-AMP advertising load slower.

Still, no one has pursued AMP with the same zeal as Brave. De-AMP is similar to Mozilla’s Facebook Container extension, which was released in 2018 to allow Firefox users to opt out of Facebook tracking them across the web. It’s a value statement disguised as a new feature. For years, Google has been a target for Brave, which has published blog posts criticising Google’s privacy policies and even gone so far as to create its own search engine. Because Brave has long promoted itself as a privacy-focused browser, Google is an obvious choice for the villain.

Of all, despite its boldness and development, Brave only has a small share of the browser market, and Chrome continues to reign supreme. AMP will not die unless Google kills it, regardless of how much of the internet revolts against it.

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