I’ve read a couple of glowing reviews of the new Arc browser. So, naturally enough, I thought I’d take a look.
Alas, I can’t simply download Arc, despite its invitation to “Try it for yourself”. No. Instead, I’ll have to provide the makers of Arc – whoever they are – with my email address and wait until my “spot is ready and waiting”. I guess my name’s not down I’m not coming in.
Still, according to the page’s
title, I’m going to “Help us build a better internet”, which is nice.
(Also: using Typeform for the form? You can build a cutting edge browser, but you can’t mark up an accessible form?)
Chris Coyier refers to Chrome’s fundamental problem: it exists to feed Alphabet’s bottom line. Its good or bad UX ultimately results from that purpose. It’s great that a browser can look at the experience from a new angle, but the question remains: what’s the motivation behind the company and how will it pay the bills?
You have to have an Arc account to use Arc. That feels a little forceful, but I get it. At some point, this company is going to have to make money, and I’m sure it’s going to have something to do with having an account.
I feel that “something” is doing some heavy lifting. As far as I know, The New York Browser Company will have to make money by either charging for its product (which is fine) or by monetising its users’ data (which isn’t).
We’ve raised over $17 million dollars from a diverse group that includes the founders of Instagram, Stripe, Twitter, Zoom, Figma, and LinkedIn.
Hmm. Them again.
At a time when we’re questioning the whole financial model of the internet and experimenting with not-for-profit, ground-up alternatives, I think these are important questions. The browser is the software through which we experience the internet – its manufacturers have incredible power. I’d be more comfortable if Arc wasn’t trying to hook me with tacky marketing and told me how it’ll make its money.