Brave Search Breaks Free Of Bing With Standalone Image Index

Brave Search announced the launch of its privacy-preserving image and video search results this week, freeing itself from reliance on companies like Microsoft and Google.

The announcement reads:

“Users will no longer need to leave Brave Search for image and video search results. Now, any Brave Search query can be served directly from Brave’s index, enabling users to benefit from a fully independent search engine that protects their privacy and is censorship-resistant.”

This new capability comes after Brave Search removed its usage of Bing’s API for image and video results in May.

At the time, Brave temporarily allowed users to redirect to Bing or Google for convenience while working on its in-house solution.

The company acknowledged this temporary redirect “was not popular with some users” but said it was necessary to maintain familiar search habits during the transition period.

Why Independent Image Search Matters

With web content dominating most search queries, image and video search has become more fragmented across social media and content platforms.

However, according to Brave, relying on these services often comes at a cost to user privacy.

The company explains:

“Whether it’s a matter of personal safety or personal preference, users should be able to discover content without their search engine reporting and profiling those results to a Big Tech company.”

Brave touted its image search capabilities as private and anonymous, aligning with its ethos.

The launch expands Brave’s capabilities as an independent search engine.

“With the ability to search for crucial vertical categories such as images and videos directly within Brave, users can now access even more content than before.”

Censorship Resistance

Brave highlighted censorship resistance as a benefit of self-reliance.

The company pointed to a 2019 incident where Microsoft’s Bing search engine blocked image results related to the Tiananmen Square protests.

“By serving image/video results directly from Brave Search’s independent index, we can ensure a better check on Big Tech censorship and put our users in charge of their browsing experience.”

The company acknowledged its image search does not yet match the advanced capabilities of rival search engines but said independence was more important for now.

Brave Search launched in beta in early 2021 and has since expanded into a privacy-focused alternative to dominant search engines like Google and Bing.

Its browser, Brave, blocks online tracking by default.

Featured Image: evgenii mitroshin/Shutterstock