Brave aims to rid AMP from its web browser with a new feature called De-AMP, which ensures users visit a publisher’s URLs instead of Google’s.
De-AMP will be enabled by default in version 1.38 of Brave’s desktop and Android browsers, with plans to bring it to iOS soon after.
The team behind Brave feels that users would be better without AMP, saying it compromises their privacy and leads to a worse experience.
Brave states in an announcement:
“AMP harms users’ privacy, security and internet experience, and just as bad, AMP helps Google further monopolize and control the direction of the Web.”
De-AMP will “protect” users by halting the execution of AMP HTML and sending visitors directly to publisher’s webpages.
In a blog post, Brave elaborates on its claims that AMP is harmful and explains how De-AMP makes web browsing safer.
How Brave’s De-AMP Feature Works
Brave’s new feature will neutralize AMP in two key ways:
- Rewriting links and URLs to prevent users from visiting AMP pages.
- Redirect users away from AMP pages before the page is rendered, preventing the code from being executed.
De-AMP will target the offending URLs at the source by modifying fetched pages that frequently link to AMP pages, such as Google’s search results.
Those types of pages will be modified within the browser to have all AMP links rewritten with the publisher’s URLs.
In addition, Brave will look for AMP HTML markup as pages are loading, and load the publisher’s version of the URL if AMP markup is detected.
A future update will extend Brave’s existing debouncing feature to detect when AMP URLs are about to be visited, and navigate to the publisher’s version of the page instead.
Why AMP Is Harmful (According To Brave)
Brave’s arguments for AMP being harmful to users are as follows:
- Privacy: AMP allows Google to see which pages people view on the web and how the pages are interacted with.
- Security: Users think they’re interacting with the publisher’s site when they’re still within Google’s control.
- Monopolization: With AMP serving web content from Google’s servers, Brave argues it furthers Google’s monopoly on the web.
- Usability: Brave argues AMP can actually make pages slower and more difficult to interact with.
Too Little Too Late?
It’s notable that Brave is going to such lengths to thwart AMP pages, but one can’t help but question the timing of it.
The prevalence of AMP has waned in recent years due to efforts made by Google itself.
For example, Google News now sends users directly to publisher’s websites instead of AMP pages.
The Top Stories carousel in search results, which used to be exclusively AMP, now contains regular HTML pages.
Google even stopped highlighting AMP pages in search results with the special lightning bolt icon.
In other words, there’s fewer chances for users to land on an AMP page now than in previous years, which makes this feel like an ill timed update.
If nothing else it’s one more nail in the coffin for a page technology that seems to be falling out of favor all over the web.
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