Privacy-focused search engine and browser maker Brave is taking another step away from its reliance on other search providers with today’s news that it has now launched its own image and video search engine. That means users will no longer have to leave Brave when they want either image or video search results, as the results will now be served directly from Brave Search’s own independent index, the company explains.
The news follows Brave’s April announcement that it would no longer use Bing’s index, which had previously represented 7% of all query results.
The image and video search feature has been in development for several months and its results will now also be offered via the recently launched Brave Search API, says Brave.
Ahead of the launch, Brave had offered the option of an alternate image or video search through a redirect to Bing or Google, which was a feature that would allow users to search in a familiar format while Brave’s own index was in development.
“We realize that the redirect option was not popular with some of our users, and thank them for their patience during this transition,” a blog post announcing Brave’s new capabilities reads. “This was a temporary decision to help users find results with minimum hassle, while we worked to offer a sustainable, privacy-preserving, and independent image and video search option.”
The company notes the ability to search for images and videos within the Brave ecosystem will allow users to benefit from increased speed and privacy, compared with other search engines that rely on third-party providers. But it also positions the launch as a means of putting a check on “Big Tech censorship,” citing an example from a couple of years ago when Microsoft Bing was found to serve up no images for a search for Tiananmen Square “tank man.”
This had impacted Brave at the time because it was still relying on Bing’s image search results.
Brave’s image search results are still being improved, the company cautions. For the time being, certain advanced filters like license type or aspect ratio will not be immediately available. But these will be added soon, it says.
The Brave Search engine is the default in the company’s own Brave web browser, but can be used independently at search.brave.com.