Celebrating 15 Years of DuckDuckGo
Fifteen years ago, I launched DuckDuckGo from my basement in Valley Forge , Pennsylvania , hoping to offer a user-centric alternative to Google . This was 2008 – years before Snowden , a decade before Cambridge Analytica , and more broadly before the world had started to realize the scary power and creepy surveillance of companies like Google and Facebook .
Growth was very slow at first. It was just me behind the scenes for quite a while, putting together the search engine and asking people for feedback. I realized DuckDuckGo was resonating with people when things really started to pick up in 2011 , so I started building out the team (many of whom are still at the company today ) and we established our company vision to raise the standard of trust online.
Today, that vision remains the same. Fifteen years later we’ve built something truly rare in tech: a healthy, profitable company that protects user privacy, instead of exploiting it.
People care about their online privacy. That’s what fuels our growth. According to a recent Forresterstudy, 87% of US online adults “use at least one privacy- or security-protecting tool online.”
We design our product so that this uniquely comprehensive and overlapping set of privacy protections is seamless to users: it just works without having to know anything about the technical details or deal with complicated settings. All you have to do is switch your browser to DuckDuckGo across all your devices and you get privacy by default.
The DuckDuckGo Privacy Browseris available on macOS , Windows , iOS, and Android .
I’ve always believed that the easier we can make getting online privacy, the more people will switch to DuckDuckGo. That’s why our browser and browser extensions have been downloaded more than 250 milliontimes. This has propelled our search engine to hold the # 2 position in mobile market share and # 3 overall in the U.S. and over 20 other major markets including the UK , Germany , France , India , Australia , and Canada . Over the past three years alone, people have made more than 100 billion private searches on DuckDuckGo.
I want to thank everyone who has and continues to use and support DuckDuckGo. We appreciate you!
DuckDuckGrowth over the years.
And, to those who aren’t users, we’d love for you to give us a try, or another try if it’s been a while since the last time. We’ve been continually improving our core search, browse, and email experiences. Looking forward, you’ll see DuckDuckGo introduce new product experiences that similarly work together to help you protect even more of what you do online.
I continue to believe there remains huge, pent-up demand for privacy-respecting alternatives to Googleif it were easier to switch search and browser defaults across devices. That is, I believe we’d be much bigger, perhaps as much as ten times bigger, if it wasn’t for Google ’s anticompetitive tactics.
In any case, with ever-increasing exploitation of personal data by Google, Facebook , and others, we believe our work is as important as ever. That’s why we’ll remain laser-focused on our product vision of being the “easy button” for privacy.
15DuckDuckFacts for 15 years of DuckDuckGo
Now that you know more about what we do and why we do it, I thought I’d also share some things you might not know from our past 15 years:
Unpacking the "easy button" for privacy
Your privacy is constantly under threat by companies using your personal data, leaking it, or even selling it to others and then using it to try to manipulate you with creepy ads, discriminate against you, and more. To help prevent this from happening, DuckDuckGo browsers offer the most comprehensive privacy protection by default without breaking your online experience. Because trackers are always working to get around privacy protections, we’ve layered on many types of unique and innovative protections by default that don’t exist in most browsers or browser extensions. We’re continually working to improve these protections while also introducing new protections to address emerging threats.
For those interested, here’s some more info on our various privacy protections:
You get all of this with onedownload, and more is coming – stay tuned!