Brave announced in a blog post that it’s rolling out a new “De-AMP” feature that automatically bypasses Google’s Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP) and instead takes users straight to original websites. Brave says that where possible, De-AMP will rewrite links and URLs to prevent users from visiting AMP pages altogether.
In instances where this isn’t possible, the company says its browser will “watch as pages are being fetched and redirect users away from AMP pages before the page is even rendered, preventing AMP/Google code from being loaded and executed.”
Brave is framing the new addition as a privacy and security feature and says in its blog post that “AMP is harmful to users and the web at large” and that it “furthers the monopolization of the web.” Brave also warns that the next iteration of AMP will be even more harmful for users.
Google originally positioned the AMP framework, which the company introduced in 2015 and is supported by an open source working group, as a way to simplify and speed up mobile websites. Accelerated Mobile Pages have been a controversial project since its debut. As part of making pages faster, the AMP project uses caches of pages on CDNs, which means that Google’s search results would direct a user to an AMP page hosted by Google, effectively cutting out the owner of the content in the process. In addition, a number of publishers have moved to abandon the framework, saying that it was leading to less ad revenue.
Although Brave’s stance with this new feature is a significant effort against the AMP framework, it still lags behind Chrome and other browsers in terms of mobile market share, which means AMP pages are still something that many internet users encounter.
The new De-AMP feature is now available in beta and will be enabled by default in the upcoming 1.38 desktop and Android versions, and will be released on iOS shortly after. If you’re in the beta version of the browser, you may need to restart your browser for the change to take effect.