For all those that say Edward Snowden’s leaks didn’t change public opinion on surveillance, “We’ve grown 600 per cent since the surveillance revelations started two years ago,” said DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg on CNBC.
DuckDuckGo, for those unfamiliar, is a search engine that does not track users. To make money, it simply allows advertisers to bid on keyword search like ‘cars’, ‘insurance’, similar to what Google did in the early days.
Even though DuckDuckGo has less than one per cent market share, Weinberg claimed it was doing three billion searches a year, a huge number showing the size of search.
The growth does not push Weinberg to think about new advertising opportunities, in the interview he claimed keyword advertising search is all DuckDuckGo needs to be successful in the long term, even if they scale up employees.
Google and Facebook both harvest user information for all types of advertising, including location, contextual, photographic, social and video. These type of ads tend to be sold for more than typical keyword searches, since they hit a much more relevant target audience.
The NSA surveillance has struck a chord with American citizens, who clearly don’t like the idea of having their Internet browsing history. In the UK, people seem more relaxed to the idea of the GCHQ harvesting data from companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo.