User bases
Who has a large user base that could contribute to significantly broadening the data market? Who could we pitch a new revenue stream to, where they'd get user consent to share some of their data with the protocol?

Browser extensions

According to Patrick Bunk, the difficulty of browser extensions to monetize has been making them the target of revenue-generating pitches from the likes of Infatica or Bright Data (formerly Luminati). This means we'd be competing for their attention, but it's also an opportunity to stand out given the shadiness of the competition. From Krebs on Security:
Some of these extensions have garnered hundreds of thousands or even millions of users. But here’s the rub: As an extension’s user base grows, maintaining them with software updates and responding to user support requests tends to take up an inordinate amount of the author’s time. Yet extension authors have few options for earning financial compensation for their work.
So when a company comes along and offers to buy the extension — or pay the author to silently include some extra code — that proposal is frequently too good to pass up.
For its part, Infatica seeks out authors with extensions that have at least 50,000 users. An extension maker who agrees to incorporate Infatica’s computer code can earn anywhere from $15 to $45 each month for every 1,000 active users.
Infatica’s code then uses the browser of anyone who has that extension installed to route Web traffic for the company’s customers, including marketers or anyone able to afford its hefty monthly subscription charges.
The end result is when Infatica customers browse to a web site, that site thinks the traffic is coming from the Internet address tied to the extension user, not the customer’s.
According to chrome-stats.com, the majority of extensions — more than 100,000 of them — are effectively abandoned by their authors, or haven’t been updated in more than two years. In other words, there a great many developers who are likely to be open to someone else buying up their creation and their user base.
The vast majority of extensions are free, although a handful that have attracted a large and loyal enough following have been able to charge for their creations or for subscription services tied to the extension. But last year, Google announced it was shutting down paid Chrome extensions offered on its Chrome Web Store.
Nguyen said this will only exacerbate the problem of frustrated developers turning to offers from dodgy marketing firms.
“It’s a really tough marketplace for extension developers to be able to monetize and get reward for maintaining their extensions,” he said. “There are tons of small developers who haven’t been able to do anything with their extensions. That’s why some of them will go into shady integration or sell the extension for some money and just be done with it.”
ChromeStats is a good tool to explore extensions for Chrome by popularity. Some examples:
  • eyeo runs Crumbs and Adblock Plus, the latter featuring 250M+ users (officially, it's 200M according to their PR), here are their own numbers (stating 100M+ active devices)
  • Honey helps users find discounts and coupon codes on shopping sites
  • Noisli provides background sounds for focus or relaxation
  • 1Password and LastPass are password managers
  • NordVPN offers a VPN for more private browsing
  • Grammarly is a writing assistant
  • Momentum is a productivity tool
Last modified 7mo ago
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