Software Programs

Google Donates to Charities Based on the Number of Tabs You Open in Chrome

It’s that time of year again when big corporations donate a fraction of their fortune to various charitable projects. 

We couldn’t help but notice that companies around the world also turn such cause-related donations into marketing vehicles to create a buzz around their brand, whenever they can. Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, quite the contrary.

Google’s marketing people came up with an interesting idea designed to both help non-profits and increase awareness and use of its Chrome browser.

In doing so, however, Google could possibly harvest information on your tabbed browsing habits. The idea is quite simple and appealing: Simply download and install the new Chrome for a Cause extension for the Chrome browser and you’ll be supporting charitable causes just by browsing the web.

With the extension installed, every tab you open will support participating non-profits between December 15 – 19, the company explains:

The chrome for a cause extension will count your tabs while you browse the web. At the end of the day, you’ll be asked to choose a charity to receive your tabs. Every day between December 15 and 19 presents the chance to contribute your tabs, so you can choose to support the same charity or pick a different one each day.

You can click on the extension icon next to Chrome’s address bar to find out how exactly your open tabs help make the world a better place. For example, two open tabs equal to 0.2 books donated or 0.1 vaccinations provided. Or, ten open tabs help plant a tree, at which point you’ve already "made a difference," says the extension. The search monster says you’ll need a Google account in order to participate and assures privacy advocates it only tracks your tab count and does not store any of your browsing history on its servers.