Majority of us can’t do without extensions on our browsers especially Chrome. Chrome arguably has more extensions than any browsers and it is also the most used browsers. There is nothing less than 188,620 to choose from on the Chrome Web Store. The figure is remarkable, but a recent study reveals that the vast majority are barely used.

The Extension Monitor firm has revealed that 50% of all the extensions have less than 16 installs. The extensions are either unknown or it’s not special for many users: 87% of the available extensions have less than 1,000 installations.

Many extensions, but only a few succeed

The extensions have been available for 8 years on Chrome, and during this time there has been a minimum of 1,230 million installations. The figure is much higher, but Google does not give figures for the number of installations when the extension goes beyond 10 million users. Only 13 extensions out of many on the web-store were able to reach 10 million users for now.

Among the most used extensions are those related to blocking advertising, communications, purchases and those dedicated to protecting users (for example, with password managers”).

There are also 19,379 extensions (more than 10%) with 0 installations, and another 25,540, 13.5% more, have only one installation. As if the developer had programmed it for personal use.

The distribution of the number of users reconfirms what we have seen in many other similar platforms such as mobile application stores.

The study dedicates a special section to premium extensions (8.9% of the total), of which 35% do not have a user. The most successful by far is IE Tab, with more than 4.1 million installations: almost one in three users pay for this extension that has been on the market for more than a decade. It was firstly used on Firefox.

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The paradox of choice

This data seems to confirm the paradox of choice: in Chrome – the situation is similar in Firefox – there are so many extensions that is difficult to take advantage of. We do not know the vast majority of them, and the concentration towards the most popular extension only make them grow over time.

This circumstance contrasts with the situation of browsers such as Microsoft Edge, which most users complained about because of its lack of extensions when it appeared on the market. The situation improved with the subsequent support of some extensions, but their number was very small.

This may be a barrier for some users, and whether it was or not Edge could not curdle in the market, something that the company wanted to solve by preparing the new version of its browser, but it will be based on Chromium this time. This version will support most Chrome extensions, so we will soon be able to access those options from it too.

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