Why Vivaldi is the Browser of Choice
Vivaldi is one of the best browsers around because it offers a plethora of customization options and features that enhance your browsing experience. Moreover, the browser also has a built-in tracking blocker that limits advertisers from tracking you across the web. What sets Vivaldi apart from other browsers is its CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner’s belief in a content-based approach rather than the attention- and tracking-based advertising world we live in today, which is why the company actively offers alternatives.
A Peek into Online Advertising
Jon explains that online advertising on the internet wasn’t always as attention-based as it is today. Facebook’s focus on shareholder interests that began in 2012 led to keeping users on the platform longer in the hopes of monetizing their interactions, which led to designing Facebook’s feed to showcase interesting content rather than friends. This approach gave publishers the chance to compete against each other and resulted in poor-quality ads, leading to the advent of programs that blocked ads. Paywalls soon followed, proving that the current ad system is in shambles.
The Alternative Approach with Vivaldi
Vivaldi offers an alternative to the attention-based model that dominates the internet. The browser has a built-in RSS feed reader that is strictly chronological, services like Vivaldi Mail and Calendar that can be hooked into using existing IMAP services, and doesn’t collect user data. The browser also has a built-in ad blocker, although Jon believes that a tracking blocker would incentivize websites and social media platforms to create privacy-conscious ads, something that Vivaldi users requested. These features differentiate Vivaldi from AdBlock Plus and Brave, who have custom systems that are opt-in for content creators and can be more harmful to publishers.
Fighting for a Better Internet
What sets Vivaldi apart from its competitors is its fight for a better internet by advocating to regulators. Jon envisions a world where tracking-based advertising is banned, and publishers go back to content-based advertising that doesn’t track users. This approach is more programmatic, based on broader target audiences, or the content they’re paired with, and could still be profitable for publishers. Google’s Privacy Sandbox is similar but doesn’t remove the tracking issue entirely. While Vivaldi can’t change the internet single-handedly, the company can do its part by offering a user-centric, privacy-focused browsing experience.