At least two popular browser extensions for the Google Chrome web browser have been turned into paid subscription-based services this month, and at least one company, Web of Trust, is experimenting with monetizing their extension as well.
This appears to be a trend fueled by Google's Chrome Web Store update to support paid extensions and themes in the store.
This is an interesting opportunity for developers who up until now did not really have many options in this regard. If you look over to Mozilla Firefox, donations seem to be the prime source of income if you can call it that for add-on authors.
There is obviously nothing wrong with wanting to monetize a browser extension, even though it has not really be done until now in large scale.
The two extensions that switched to a paid subscription-based offer on the other hand made several mistakes which turned into negative publicity.
What not to do
So what should you avoid when you plan to release a commercial version of your browser extension?
What you may want to do
Here are a few tips to avoid a publicity disaster.
This is new territory for extension developers and companies, and currently limited to the Google Chrome web browser. It is likely that this will turn out to be just fine in the long run, probably similar to how free and paid apps are handled on Google Play.
The main problem that developers who want to monetize their extension face right now is that there are free alternatives available.
What's your take on this?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.