Amazon survey points to renewed interest in a desktop web browser
The e-commerce giant is asking users about their web browsing preferencesBy Alfonso Maruccia
The big picture: Amazon is seemingly interested in bringing a new browser to its users, which could improve the company's business both in the advertising and e-commerce markets. For now, Amazon has just sent a selected number of users a seemingly generic survey about web browsers.
Amazon may be thinking about a new browser for desktop and laptop users. A recently circulated survey from the Seattle-based corporation wants to understand what customers "value about current web browsers," which can be easily interpreted as an effort to learn users' preferences to build something new(ish) in the already crowded web browser market.
Amazon's survey about web browser was active until March 19, with the company asking recipients about the PC system they used most frequently (Windows or Mac), the browser they had on said system, the number of daily hours spent within the browser window, and the number of times they experienced issues in dealing with tabs.
Amazon also wanted to know what was the most popular activity done in a browser among social media, entertainment, productivity, news, and (of course) shopping, or if users had downloaded a third-party browser on their desktop system.
Hmm, is Amazon thinking about making a web browser? I'm not sure how else this could be interpreted. @DanaMattioli pic.twitter.com/TNwgIa37qT--- Nicholas De Leon (@nicholasadeleon) March 13, 2023
The most telling part of the survey asked users to rate the importance (on a scale of 1 to 5, just like the five-star voting system in Amazon's own product reviews) of advanced features like blocking third party cookies, password suggestions and management, enhanced privacy options like VPN and "built-in adblocking," text-to-speech conversion, add-ons, tab organization, and data synchronization between desktop and mobile devices.
At the end of the survey, Amazon asked users to "imagine that there is a new desktop/laptop browser" available, and to rate which feature would convince them to download such a new browser among faster loading times, "stronger" security and privacy features, AI-related features, add-on support, and so on.
If the survey leads to an actual product, it would be Amazon's second foray into the browser market after the Chromium-based Amazon Silk. Rather than being confined to Kindle, Fire and Echo Show devices, the new browser would have to wrestle market share from Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and the many other third-party browsers available on PC today.
Amazon's renewed interest in the browser market could have several explanations, considering the company is essentially drowning in a trove of precious data about users habits and shopping preferences. Amazon could be interested in experimenting with new ways to profile and track users now that Chrome is about to retire the third-party cookie mechanism, or it could even decide to further push its involvement into the advertising business after amassing $38 billion in revenues in 2022 alone.