Environmental Future of Technology

Ecosia sees user growth after EU regulation

80% of advertising profits at Ecosia funds reforestation projects. Since 2009, the company has planted 86 million+ trees — a total it is expecting to grow after Google made Ecosia a default option on Chrome.

But Google has long been mired in lawsuits over its shifty privacy and competition policy. In Europe, antitrust enforcement forced Google to offer a choice screen that displays alternative search engines and browsers on its Android smartphone platform.

According to Qwant co-founder and CEO Eric Leandri, the share of Qwant users using its search engine on mobile has leapt up from around 2% to more than a quarter (26%) of its total user base. This shows that competing against Google on search is possible — but only “thanks to the European Commission”.

He has, however, been critical of Google’s advertising technology. The bid prices across search engines are only privy to Google, making it impossible to know whether Google is still prioritizing its own products.

Sources: – “Tree planting search engine Ecosia is getting a visibility boost in Chrome” and “Google to auction slots on Android default search ‘choice screen’ in Europe next year, rivals cry ‘pay-to-play’ foul” on TechCrunch by Natasha Lomas

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