How the DMA has Affected Small Web Browsers

The Digital Markets Act was enforced in March 2024. The E.U. introduced this to remove unfair competition. 

Since this introduction, independent browsers have seen a spike in users and have gained more market share.  

What is the DMA?

The DMA identifies large online platforms, such as Apple, Meta, and Microsoft, as ‘gatekeepers’, and the new tech law ensures they behave fairly online and leave room for contestability. 

The DMA also forces these big tech companies to offer mobile users to select from a list of available web browsers from a ‘choice screen’.  

Despite some people taking this new choice to their full advantage, others have found the extra request more annoying before clicking on the well-known Safari as their chosen browser. 

How has this affected Independent Browsers?

Initial data indicates that end users have been using the options available since the DMA took effect on March 7th. 

Cyprus-based Aloha Browser has seen a 250% increase in E.U. users since the DMA came into effect. Norway’s Vivaldi and U.S.-based Brave have also seen a huge user increase since the new regulation. 

Norway-based Opera has yet to complete its choice screen rollout; however, the vice president claims they are still ‘‘experiencing record user numbers in the E.U. right now.’’ 

Why are users choosing Independent Browsers?

Online Data Privacy

Data is one of the key ingredients for generating revenue. Online advertising companies can use web browsing histories to understand individual browsers over time, allowing them to provide targeted advertising.

Online data privacy is now a heavily discussed topic among users. People want higher control over the information about them that is collected, or at least want the choice to decide what data can be collected. 

Independent Browsers and Online Privacy

Independent browsers often offer better privacy features, such as blocking websites from tracking your activities and collecting personal data.

When looking for a privacy-focused browser, you should check whether the developer has a transparent privacy policy. Then, you must understand how advertising trackers and cookies are managed and whether search histories are stored or shared.

Independent browsers, such U.S. based Brave, have seen increased users since the DMA due to their privacy policies. 

Brave is known for being the best browser for overall privacy. The Chrome-based browser blocks ads, fingerprinting, and ad trackers by default. Brave removed Google code from its Chromium to improve privacy, including some account integration, background sync, and online extensions. 

Brave is transparent. One of its revenue streams comes from an optional feature that allows users to earn crypto tokens if they opt for ad viewing from privacy-protecting ads that pay publishers and users when ads are paid attention to. 

Customisation

Users are seeking customisation options on their web browsers. They want to set specific preferences and requirements and adapt features to improve their online experience by making it more efficient and enjoyable. 

Norway’s Vivaldi is known as the best web browser for customising your experience, and its users have increased significantly since the new regulation.

Their customisation tools enable you to personalise the start page, create and use a custom theme, customise and move the menu and toolbar, and much more. 

You can also assign browser commands to keyboard shortcuts, map commands to gestures, and quick commands to the function keys.

New technologies

In the internet landscape, smaller browsers often struggle to distinguish themselves and their offerings from the larger, established browsers dominating the market, such as Google. 

Small browsers must consciously try to be innovative, including regular updates and introducing new features, to stand out to users. 

Innovative browsers that focus on technology will be sought after by tech-savvy individuals actively looking for the best and most up-to-date browsers. 

Why is this relevant to the Marketing Industry?

The Digital Markets Act significantly impacts the marketing industry. It forces browsers to be transparent with users about how they collect and utilise data for targeted advertising. 

In the marketing industry, tracked data ensures our ads are relevant and reach only interested parties. Without this data, businesses will create less targeted ads, which could impact their performance, and be more annoying for users because they will start to see irrelevant ads.

If users switch browsers, marketers must reassess where their target audience is browsing from. This can affect how you run your paid advertising and SEO strategy. 

The bottom line is that if your audience changes browsers, your digital marketing strategy may also need to change!

Friday 15th March 2024

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