• Proteams Information Tech

Privacy is Trending; DuckDuckGo Reaches a New Milestone

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Following weeks of controversy after WhatsApp's announcement of their new privacy update, online privacy and security seems to be a huge user concern and many apps and web apps have seen the benefit of the new interest, DuckDuckGo being one of them.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that prioritises privacy above all else, while the browser has been around for 12 years, the search numbers per day have been very slowly increasing, while gaining more popularity in 2020, when it saw an average of 52 million searches per day, but this year DuckDuckGo has reached new heights, recording over 100 million searches in just one day, on the 11th of January. For the month so far, there has bene a 73 percent increase in searches per day compared to figures from last year. Although a growth really started to pick up in August last year when the search engine saw over 2 billion searches per month, on a regular basis, as well as going further from its own site to offer both IOS and Android apps as well as a Crome browser extension. The app saw 4 million downloads in September 2020 as announced by the company via social media.

The main reason for DDG's popularity is its overriding commitment to not collecting user data and providing the same search results to all of its users, although this can result in a lack of granular data which can make it hard for the company to accurately estimate the size of its user base. Although as its KSP, DDG remain committed to privacy and this has helped to grow its user base massively due to a huge rise in the privacy-conscious community - including those who get sick of seeing targeted ads after accidentally clicking on something! DuckDuckGo has further been selected as the default search engine in the Tor Browser and is also commonly the default search engine in the private browsing modes of several other browser options.

While this 100 million searches per day mark is truly minuscule compared to Google's 5 billion daily searches, it is a huge step in seeing users stray from the browsing giant, who dominate a massive 94.5% share of the browser market. The search engine market has seen relatively few new players enter due to Googles massive market share, and overall popularity with its users, but in one of the biggest months for online privacy, this could be a huge opportunity to gain a larger slice of the search engine pie.

In fact, DuckDuckGo have been regularly outing Googles 'fundamentally flawed' practises for the better part of a year, most recently in their blog they have outed Google for misleading users and antitrust committees in over exaggerating how easy it is to switch browsing methods, even giving a mock-up default screen for how users should be able to see automatically on device setup to switch their default search engines, Stating;

"Given your stance on one-click competition, Google, will you commit to allowing consumers to select their preferred search engine in one click?"
"Consumers are fed up with dark patterns and other technology abuses. Study after study shows the vast majority of people want more privacy online, and at least 20% of people would pick a search engine other than Google if presented with the above search preference menu."

In one of the biggest weeks for privacy, many apps have seen huge boosts in user bases, especially Telegram and Signal who also announced major growth milestones, amid WhatsApp, Facebook controversy. In short, if you have been looking for a chance to boost or release your privacy based app, now is very much the time!

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