Update, February 25: Link Bubble is now officially Brave. The app has recently been updated with the new name and branding, meaning that Link Bubble users should find that the app on their devices is now called Brave. With the rebranding, several features have been turned on by default, including Tracking Protection and Ad Blocking.
Original post, January 21: I’ve been a fan of Link Bubble for a long time. So much so that I told Chris Lacy he was a genius at Google I/O last year (there may have been drinks involved). A few months later, Lacy sold Link Bubble and Tap Path to a mysterious, unnamed startup that would “reveal itself in time”. That time has come and that startup has been revealed as Brave Software. What we didn’t know last year was that Link Bubble was to be the DNA for a new browser project called Brave.
Brave does this by blocking large, heavy ads and stripping out tracking and analytics scripts, serving up lighter (and faster loading) anonymous ads in a few standard-sized spaces. The whole thing is designed to maintain the user’s privacy while simultaneously making the browsing experience faster while still generating that essential ad revenue for the sites themselves.
Ad revenue will be split between publishers and users, so websites can continue to make a buck and so can you.
But there’s a twist. Brave Browser will also pay users. Ad revenue will be split between publishers and users, so websites can continue to make a buck and so can you. You can use your earnings to select those websites on which you’d like to go totally ad-free. That “payment” is then used to finance the website on which you will no longer see ads at all. They win, and you win.
As Eich comments on the Brave website: “We are a browser-based ad-tech platform, with high precision and privacy. Brave is the only approach to the Web that puts users first in ownership and control of their browsing data by blocking trackers by default, with no exceptions.” If it sounds like Brave is trying to save the web, it’s because they are.
If you want to sign up as a beta tester of Brave Browser v0.7, just head to the Brave website to sign up on Android, iOS, OSX, Windows and Linux. Everything is open-source and available on GitHub.