DuckDuckGo celebrates 10 billion anonymous searches

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    The ongoing impact of the Snowden revelations and Donald Trump’s ascendance to the US presidency is pushing more and more web users to privacy-focused services. Worldwide downloads of secure messaging app Signal grew 70 percent in the last quarter of 2016, and anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo seems like it’s getting a similar boost.

    DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg announced in a blog post last week that the company had served its 10 billionth search, as well as passing the milestone of 14 million searches in a day on January 10th. “We are growing faster than ever,” writes Weinberg. “In addition to crossing the 10 billion milestone, last year we also donated $225,000 to nine organizations that also raise the standard of trust online.” (Just for comparison’s sake, it’s worth noting that Google serves 40,000 queries a second, or 3.5 billion searches a day.)

    For those not aware, DuckDuckGo’s mission is to provide the search power of Google, without all the tracking that funds the tech giant’s ad business. It doesn’t share your search terms with the sites you click on; it doesn’t save your history, or link it with either your IP address or a user profile; and it doesn’t use cookies to track you around the web. It’s been around since 2008, and has been slowly gaining users since then — receiving its last big boost in 2014 when Mozilla and Apple added it as a default search option in Safari and Firefox. For 2017, it looks like the only way is up.

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