Browser Extensions

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Browser Extension Marketplace Opportunities: Part One

Today, more independent developers are creating browser extensions for websites. Some of the most renowned independent developers include LastPass, Privacy Badger, Tamper Monkey, and AdBlock.

LastPass

  • This is an online freemium password manager, used for storing encrypted passwords. Using a standard version, LastPass provides a web interface for its users, as well as plugins that support web browsers and apps that are supported by smartphones and support for bookmarklets and LogMeIn, Inc.
  • In October 2015, LastPass was acquired by LogMeIn. However, LastPass has continued to manage passwords for its clients, as well as providing secure access across devices such as computers and mobile phones.
  • Users can save all their usernames and passwords, which makes it easier to auto-login into sites without having to cram these details. Users can also sync these passwords.
  • Even though LastPass is a robust password manager that supports several browsers and operating systems, it is a free tool that does not require subscription fees

Privacy Badger

  • Privacy Badger is a tracking blocker that automatically blocks invisible trackers as opposed to listing and busting these hackers.
  • Through proper monitoring, Privacy Badger learns the suspect domains that track users as they browse through the web and blocks these domains by sending a 'Do Not Track' warning.
  • In the event that these trackers ignore the 'Do Not Track' warning, Private Badger automatically blocks them.
  • Private Badger gives a maximum of three websites and if trackers exceed this number, they are classified as suspects and are blocked right away.
  • Through various privacy protections, Private Badger is also responsible for removing outgoing link clicks that may track other websites such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • While Privacy Badger is a free service, members are urged to donate to support software development, for legal and activism purposes. Users can donate once, monthly or annually

Tampermonkey

  • This is a userscript manager that is supported by Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari.
  • Tampermonkey provides an easy maneuver for userscripts through features that provide a clear overview over scripts such as a built-in editor, import and exports that are ZIP-based, storage-based synchronization, and automatic update checks.
  • Various browsers such as Chrome and Firefox have provided the unique steps of installing this user script software.
  • Managing userscripts is easy as it allows users to scan through a pop-up menu that details the various userscripts running on that particular website. Users also have the opportunity to enjoy updated scripts that are automatically updated by default on a daily basis.
  • The pricing varies from $0 to $9 per user per month, depending on the plan and the features that a user may want to have.

AdBlock

  • AdBlock is a filtering software that removes online advertising, through altering random pop-ups in a web browser. Through tools such as ad-blocking, this software provides extensions that run on applications to remove these advertisements.
  • AdBlock does not have subscription fees for its users, yet, it provides a cleaner and faster browsing by blocking annoying ads on the web.
  • However, there are a few ads that are supported by AdBlock with the aim of supporting some websites.
  • AdBlock is an open-source and users automatically agree to the terms and conditions once they click the subscription button.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Browser Extension Marketplace Opportunities: Part Two

Four additional independent developers of browser extensions include Loom, Momentum, Peta Sittek, and Jason Savard. Additional details including the applications, features, and business models of their extensions are described below.

Loom

  • Loom is a browser extension that helps users communicate using instantly shareable videos. It allows users to record their screen and front-facing camera along with their narration from a microphone and instantly creates a shareable link for the recorded video.
  • Its unique value proposition includes “fast recording, instant sharing, easy editing, rich reactions, and controlled viewing”. It is marketed as an alternative to emails and meetings for work, helping employees to discuss projects or give updates without disrupting each other’s workflows.
  • The service is used by 1.1 million people from 18,000 companies in 2019.
  • The browser extension was created by co-founders Shahed Khan, Joe Thomas, and Vinay Hiremath in mid-2016. Loom offered the instant sharing feature right from the start and saw use from different disciplines at work.
  • Loom has raised $44.8M worth of funding over 4 rounds.
  • The basic service is available for free but the Pro version that features advanced recording & editing features costs $10 per month. Loom also offers customized pricing for teams and enterprises that require advanced sharing & reporting or admin & security features.

Momentum

  • Momentum is a browser extension that helps users to remove distractions and find "inspiration, focus, and productivity". It allows users to change their new tab page into a personal dashboard that features a to-do list, weather information, and inspirational content.
  • Users could gain access to various customization options including fonts and color themes, background graphics, widgets, as well as integrations with other tools such as Asana, Trello, Todoist, GitHub, Wunderlist, and Google Tasks.
  • The extension is used by over 3 million people and has received over 13,000 reviews with an average rating of 4/5 stars. It also has been featured in digital publications such as BuzzFeed, TheNextWeb, and Lifehacker.
  • The extension was created in 2013 by co-founders Levi Bucsis and Jesse Overton. It went viral quickly after Bucsis posted the tool on Reddit. The project has grown to become a company of nine employees today.
  • The basic version of the extension is available for free. However, users can upgrade to the Momentum Plus which offers the customization, integrations, and widget options for $3.33/month.

Peta Sittek

  • Peta Sittek is a serial developer and creator of multiple Chrome extensions including Volume Master, Message Deleter for Slack, Webtime Tracker, Domain Blocker, Social Revealer, Social Meter, Domain Whitelist, Site Connector, and Timebox++.
  • Sittek’s most popular browser extension is the Volume Master, used by over 1 million users. The extension allows users to control the volume of each tab separately and could boost the volume by up to 600%. It has received over 4,000 reviews with an average rating of close to 5/5 stars.
  • His other extension Webtime Tracker tracks and presents user’s time spent on different websites to help them analyze their browsing habits. Message Deleter for Slack is an extension that allows users to get past the view limit of Slack messages by deleting unwanted messages in bulk.
  • Other extensions include Domain Blocker and Domain Whitelist that blocks or only allows content from specified domains, Social Revealer that reveals obscure Facebook content, Social Meter that analyzes the social media statistics of a specified URL, Site Connector that links information from different sites with dependencies, and Timebox++- a workflow timer.
  • Sittek has been a solo developer since 2008.
  • All of the extensions are completely free and feature no ads. Sittek does not ask for any donation on his website or the separate chrome extension websites.

Jason Savard

  • Jason Savard, also known as The Green Programmer is the developer behind multiple browser extensions such as the Checker Plus series of extensions, Explain and Send Screenshots, and Webmail Ad Blocker.
  • Savard’s most popular browser extension is Checker Plus for Gmail, used by close to 1.2 million users for the Chrome browser. The extension helps users to read, listen to, and delete their emails without leaving their current browsed site to visit Gmail. The extension also supports notifications and allows the user to manage multiple accounts at once.
  • He also developed similar extensions for Google Drive and Google Calendar.
  • His other extension- Explain and Send Screenshots helps users to capture their screen, annotate and share them. His Webmail AdBlocker extension increases the usable screen space for popular web email services including Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Outlook.com and Gmail by removing advertisements.
  • Savard's work has been featured on digital publications such as Gizmodo, PCMag, CNet and CNN Money.
  • Savard has been an independent developer for over 15 years and has been creating browser extensions since 2009.
  • All of the extensions are free but Savard appeals users to contribute at a one-off or monthly basis by offering additional features once a contribution is made.


Research Strategy

We have included two examples that had grown from a small team of independent developers into larger organizations to align with examples from the previous research. However, we've also included two individual developers to follow the example of TabbyCat, which is created by the individual developer- Leslie Stetz. We've verified the selected developers to be independent and not owned or supported by parent corporations.
Sources
Sources