DuckDuckGo has announced that its desktop app will launch in beta by the end of 2021. New privacy protections are also coming to the browser and will be tested in beta in the coming weeks. These include cross-platform email privacy solution and app tracker blocking on Android.
Currently, DuckDuckGo is available as an app on Android and iOS and as a browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox, among others. Now, the company has announced that they’ll also release a beta version of the DuckDuckGo desktop app by the end of the year, which can be used as a primary browser on PC.
DuckDuckGo Email Protection will be rolled out in beta in the next few weeks and will offer enhanced privacy protection for emails. The App Tracker Blocking feature will also ship in beta in a few months on Android. It will allow people to block app trackers and provide more transparency concerning user data access.
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DuckDuckGo is getting popular
The privacy-focused browser says that its search traffic increased by 55% in the last 12 months, and it garnered 50 million app downloads in the same period, which is more than their combined app downloads in the preceding years.
DuckDuckGo is now ranked second among search engines for mobile in several countries, including USA, Canada, Australia and Netherlands.
They also announced that at the end of 2020, the company raised $100 million from a group of new and existing investors, including Omers Ventures, Thrive, GP Bullhound, Impact America Fund, Tim Berners-Lee, Fread Kapor Klein, Mitch Kapoor and Whatsapp founder Brian Acton.
“Privacy is freedom. It treats people like people, not data points, and empowers anyone online to escape manipulation from online profiling. On a societal scale, reducing data collection and targeting helps curb systemic online problems such as the rapid spread of misinformation, political polarization through filter bubbles, ad exploitation, and more. When users install DuckDuckGo, not only are they reclaiming their online privacy, but they’re also raising the standard of trust online,” DuckDuckGo announced on Wednesday.
Apple and Google have also ramped up their efforts to provide a more transparent privacy barrier between people and apps via their respective app stores. Since iOS 14.5, people have started opting out of tracking by apps and have broadly become more privacy-conscious.
DuckDuckGo has been advocating for a privacy-first web since its launch over 13 years ago. Its usage over the past 12 months is a testament to the change in user behaviour as far as privacy on the internet is concerned. While DuckDuckGo doesn’t track its users, market share estimates put the number of users at about 70-100 million.