Hey all. For those who are unaware, Luke Mulks, Jimmy Secretan, and others from Brave participate in a weekly Community Call via Brave Talk. In that they provide a lot of information about things Brave is working on. Often the focus is on Wallet or Search, but they do touch on everything.
This week’s call, which took place on 09/20/2022 was a Q&A version where we were able to ask questions I’ve seen here on Brave Community and Reddit. If you have an hour or so to spend, you may want to listen to the call below. Otherwise, I’ll be summarizing questions and answers here in text.
Question 1: Any updates on Search ads?
Answer: We’re trying to work out some of the attribution issues and making sure they can be counted. We’re also making some required browser changes. For now, we’re trying to make sure we have the demand needed. There have been a lot of discussions over the past week or so and hoping it’s coming soon.
Question 2: Any updates on Publisher Ads or Self Serve?
Answer Those will be coming after Search Ads. No specific time to mention now.
Question #3 Any updates on Pay With Bat?
Answer No update to be given for now. We’re wanting to make sure we’re clear of projects like Desktop VPN and other things like that. That should be coming soon.
Question #4: When can we get playlist for Android?
Answer There is an update on our
updates and improvementson this. Anthony Keane is trying to get an Android Playlist preview on Android Nightly within the next couple of weeks. I know that’s coming soon. In Japan, they are doing a lot of promotions about Playlist and it’s going pretty well, so we’re all excited about that.
Question #5 What types of Wallet incentives are you thinking about?
Answer One is Swap Rewards, which is basically a rebate based on your Swap fees. There’s another around offering monthly incentives based on purchases in the Wallet with BAT, whether that’s a rebate on processing fees or any number of other marketing options we’re considering. We’ve been playing with fees a little bit and potentially looking to reduce them, etc. Our focus definitely has been on how to get more Wallet use and fill in gaps for those who have been maybe testing Wallet and want to make it their default.
Overall, I’d say rebates on purchases, something to do with swaps, maybe some based on activity or recurring transactions. There’s some other stuff we’re pretty stoked to announce but we can’t announce yet. But it will expand on utility.
Question #6 What is the biggest demand side drivers Brave has planned for BAT beyond Search Ads?
Answer If you look at the things we have going on with NFTs denominated in BAT and doing recurring mints with NFT partners, that’s one angle. That’s where you’re both kind of creating mints and you’re having secondary markets around BAT denominated NFTs on many chains.
I think the other angle is on BAT liquidity where we’re working on liquidity programs in Defi and Defi apps and also with DEXs. There’s a bunch of work going on there. We’re kind of kicking things off with Biswap on (I can’t make out what he said, I think “buying”) a smartchain around that and we’re hitting up all the partners around that. And I’m sure our announcement on new partners this week will kind of spur some ideas there.
Question #7 Is it fair to say Search Ads is the next big release?
Answer I think so. That’s where we’re trying to turn a lot of our attention now.
Question #8 Can we expect to see Rewards back on iOS in the future? Are you in touch with Apple about this?
Answer I don’t know. We’ve seen some small cracks in their policy, such as how they’ve a little bit of leeway in paying and subscribing using other means. Their movements have been small. While we have friends and connections with Apple, it’s a big enterprise to try to move in any meaningful direction. When we see a real crack in the policy, we’ll do all we can to open it back up. But we don’t see any such opening in the near future.
We’re also dealing with some other stubborn Apple things too, around such things like API that’s been a pain in the neck.
Question #9 Any updates on unsupported regions?
Answer No, not yet. We have a bit of a timing update. There are things we are waiting on Uphold for at this point, some of their changes that are going into place. I cast some shade here, but they were supposed to have completed by now and I think they are getting pushed off one more week.
Again, I hope we have some better news on that here soon. We’re waiting on that to bring back some regions. But there’s more work to be done to bring even more back. Still, pushed back a little bit but hoping any week now we can get better news.
Question #10 It was mentioned in the past that we’d be doing Brazil added and then immediately after, India. When you mentioned waiting on Uphold to make some changes so countries can be brought back, is this going to be only Brazil and/or India, or will this include other countries?
Answer We’ll have to see. I think right now it’s primarily Brazil and maybe some other countries. Before that though, there’s more work to be done before we can get to India.
Question #11 When regions are added back in, what is Brave’s plan for communicating that to Users? Especially for Users who may not be plugged into Brave socials.
Answer That’s a good question. We’ll certainly plan on getting it announced in as many places as we can. We’re actually still working on some of the country product messaging. My hope is maybe we can even get that in there.
Question #12 Is there a floor for BAT earned through Brave Ads?
Answer: It varies per ad and region. There’s no floor through the system level. It floats with BAT value. But we do of course do everything we can to avoid accepting low cost ads. We always know we need to keep ads meaningful and interesting to Users. So we do our best to avoid entertaining inexpensive ads because we want to keep a flow of less ads than you’d see in the wild and make sure that cost is high so we can have decent earnings for Users.
If you look, every ad platform has been down for the past two months. Even monthly budgets have been shrinking a bit. If our head of sales was on here, he’d tell you that his goal would not be to lower prices but would instead try to offer a package or do something that helps them get to the finish line that doesn’t result in having to renegotiate the pricing.
Then there’s one rate in the US and then the base where other countries that ad prices are considerably smaller. That’s definitely an impact. Plus there’s campaigns that we run that have their own floor price too. These things all move here and there.
Our rates even now are higher than elsewhere. While ad prices might fluctuate and there may be some adjustments to stay competitive, we try to enforce a line of not going lower than necessary.
Question #13 Are there any intent to be able to earn BAT beyond viewing ads?
Answer Yes, we definitely have plans for everyone to have ways of earning BAT outside of viewing ads. Obviously we will have incentives around Wallet use and NFTs. There will also be additional Rewards earnings to Users.
Question #14 Will there be a way to earn Rewards other than BAT in the future? This is especially important for countries that are making cryptocurrency illegal or where Users may be in regions that can’t be supported.
Answer BAT is the denomination, so it can be converted in other ways. We actually have this with the TAP Network where if you’re on Uphold you can redeem BAT for gift cards and things like that. Our RPM on the ad product is working on some additional Rewards with that partner as well, as they have expanded into things like NFTs. I don’t have anything concrete on that right now.
We are definitely trying to look into options like perhaps a service we can provide or something you can get from a Creator. I’m not going to mince words right now, this is uncertain landscape. We’ve been pragmatic on this front and fast to utility, but if we do see regulations causing problems, we will definitely look to find alternatives.
Question #15 There has been a lot of issues between custodial partners and Brave in regards to whether people are supported based on their KYC documents. Is Brave working with them to resolve this and be able to improve the API?
Answer We don’t get any ID stuff beyond understanding the country of origin. We’re very limited in what we see. Sometimes they are imposing it and in others, we are. We have been talking with Uphold to try to deconflict and unconfuse some of those problems.
Certainly one of the challenges as well is that some countries have different standards when it comes to their IDs. So we do check because some are more easily forgeable than others, so we do put in more restrictions there.
Question #16 Will Brave ever go away from Chromium and develop its own browser?
Answer No intent to ever get away from Chromium at this point. Of course, we’re starting to see some things diverging, such as how Google is talking about Manifest V3 and everyone is committed to try to make sure V2 and everything remains available. So I think at some point in time there will be enough functionality built on top of Chromium that there will be a lot of meaningfully different pieces of Brave. It’s a little tough to imagine ripping it out and replacing it or rewriting it at this point. Who knows though? Maybe we’ll eventually get to a point we’re at a size and level of resourcing where we’ll do just that.
Question #17 Will Brave be looking to build a bigger team so we’re not relying heavily on upstream Chromium to fix issue or add utility?
Answer My hope is a lot of that just gets resolved by resourcing driven by growth and success. In some cases, we have been competitive like we’re experimenting with sidebar stuff. So as we grow, I think you’ll see more of us bringing that type of thing to market versus waiting for upstream.
Question #18 Any plans on getting Brave for things like Fire TV, Chromecast/Google TV? Or even game systems like Steam Deck or PlayStation?
Answer I did try some TV prototypes but there’s no official plan for any of that right now.
Question #19 Is Brave looking to expand its services such as email, cloud storage, gaming, banking, or anything of the sort?
Answer Yes! I won’t say which of those, but basically all of those are on our radar.
Question #20 What has Brave been doing all year?
Answer We’ve added two L1s, DApp support on Mobile, adding DApp support on Solana desktop it’s on Nightly on Mobile, we’ve added Aurora EVM, we’re adding BAT liquidity, we have a royal partner program where by the end of this week we’ll have 50 partners with that. We’re shipping code and product features and improving what we’re bringing out. You know, this stuff takes time but we’re working on it every week.
Question #21 Do we see Manifest V3 having an impact on Shields?
Answer Not at all. This Manifest V3 been delayed for a couple years. They first announced it in 2019 and our team put together a rewrite of our adblocking engine with Rust and then put it into the core for the browser for the network request. So we’re not coming in on the same API that’s affected by Manifest V3. Brendan has also talked about possibly providing support for other adblocking extensions too, but that will be disclosed at a later date. When this rolls out, most likely you’ll see a softer experience on blockers that aren’t on Brave, but Brave will still have the blocking you expect.
Question #22 There have been a lot of requests for more customization, do we have teams dedicated to this? (Navigational sounds, removing X from tabs so don’t accidentally close them, being able to have Search bar on bottom or side of the screen, etc)
Answers I can’t speak specifically to which customization ones but I know we’re always looking into things that are interesting. I think we’re working on some of those, such as bottom search bar on iOS. I don’t want to take the wind out of anyone’s sails but I think a lot of it is in development.
Question #23 Can we change how the Sync code works? Especially with it changing daily, which has been an annoyance for Users.
Answer This was introduced because our Security team asked for it to be done. We’re trying to actively prevent Users from having their codes stolen or asked for. We’ve had some Users who found codes in documents and were essentially sharing a Sync account. And there have been phishing attacks and things along those lines. It’s designed to prevent that and make sure you’re actively using it at the time.
Question #24: We’ve had a lot of requests to have Sync linked to something like our Profile or to have an account, something that’s more permanent. Is this something that we can get?
Answer We’d like to be able to give people the best of both worlds. Of course those 24 words were inspired by the simplicity and intended for self-custody. We had built it from the ground up and wanted it to be more like Web3 tools we’re used to. But we get that it can be confusing and that there are people who want that more traditional profile sync.
We’re looking at things like where you can hook up an email address but behind the scenes it would be more private and strongly secured. There’s a lot of work to be done but hopefully more to come.
Question #25 Will Brave ever have its own extension store rather than relying on Google’s extension store?
Answer: The overhead involved in bringing out something like an extension store is blocking it for now. There are a lot of questions about whether that would be best or doing something more like a DApp experience/DApp store. But there are no immediate plans for an extension store at this time.
Question #26 Can we get 30-day Ads History for Android? With it missing, people can’t see what ads they were shown and also lack control of how to block specific ads.
Answer I see this is causing some genuine limitations right now. It’s good to know people are actively using their blocking and training their local ads. My hope is we start to see resources freed up to do that soon.
Question #27 Is Brave considering prompting Users who haven’t activated Rewards to participate in it? (person asking this framed it that some may have installed Brave without knowing about Rewards. So they wanted to know if Brave might give a prompt every couple months or something so they can learn about it if didn’t know)
Answer There’s been a bunch of work going on around general growth and how we can do exactly that, give folks a reminder. Maybe they tried it and didn’t like it in the past or maybe there’s something new out and they want to try it. Same goes with (Brave) Search too and other features. One thing we’re seeing , especially as conference circuits are picking up again, and one piece of feedback we’ve been seeing on and on again from people at conferences has been that a lot of people know about Brave but they aren’t aware we have Search. So whether it’s about Rewards, Search, or Wallet we’d like to be able to make sure everyone is aware and can give it a second shot if they haven’t done it yet.
We’re also looking at tailoring the browser to the User from an engineering standpoint based on types of cohort. For example, some Users are crypto users and others aren’t. So we’re considering how we can cater the journey for each type of User. For example, maybe locally it can tell by if the User is importing a Metamask extension they are a crypto user. Things like that where the browser knows locally and give the User an experience that is a win for them.
Question #28 Are there any talks about email aliasing within Brave? (person asking this explained they are being forced to use DuckDuckGo email aliasing and it requires them to use DuckDuckGo search and they’d prefer to use Brave Search)
Answer It’s definitely on our minds. We want to do that and more. I won’t say we’ve firmed up any plans on that yet, but it’s one of the things we’re strongly looking at.
From there, they talked a lot on marketing side like an Unstoppable Domain contest, a paid survey for Users who have been with Brave less than a month, of the Brave swag store being created, etc. You can listen in to the video as linked if you want to hear any of that.
I hope everyone appreciates this. I just took over an hour to listen again and type all of this out! lol.