A few years ago I developed a Google Chrome extension which unexpectedly got a fair share of users.

Recently, I've been contacted by a company which devolves a big chunk of it's profits to a charitable cause, and proposed me to integrate it with my extension. I'm tempted because, apart from the charity, I'd also receive a little revenue based on the number of users. It won't make me rich, but since I am a student living with my family even a little extra income can come in handy.

The script simply redirects the results of a Google Search to a web service of the aforementioned company, which then redirects to the clicked website. The redirection is fast and transparent, so the end user barely notices any change. The only data sent to the web-service is the destination URL, there is no tracking-id or anything else.

What I'm asking is: would users of my extension be outraged if one day they open the browser and a tab shows up, telling them that the extension will redirect their clicks on the Google's results through a charitable company, and that they can disable it at any time in the settings?

  • Perhaps you could let the users choose via donating to get a more private version of the extension from the store or use the less-private version for free. You could also offer a time-limited trial of the private version for privacy-aware new users to form an opinion before deciding if they want to pay for it. The most important thing is to make sure that the users are aware of the consequences of using your extension by entering them into the beginning of the description/user-agreement in brief and simple terms and a way that stands out. Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 12:18
  • 2
    What you are talking about is pretty much crapware. More tech-savvy users will not tolerate this and probably uninstall your extension. IF you add something like this make sure it's disabled by default and users have to enable it in the extension settings. Don't force it on them (e.g. by disabling features if people don't enable the ads). Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 14:45
  • Just Google for the name of the company, and you will find that 80% of the results on the front page are in the vein of "How to remove (name of company) malware/adware/virus". That alone should be enough to not even consider adding this feature. (From your description, I infer that you've received the same mail as I did; the website's name starts with "jolly", right?)
    – Rob W
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 22:16
  • No, it's another company...the first thing I did was searching online for it's reputation, but nothing bad showed up
    – user38105
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


From a user perspective I think it would be better to default to off for this, the new tab on update could then ask if the user wanted to enable it, the tone of this question is very important:

Hi my name is x and I developed this extension, enabling y setting would help support me to support/improve the extension as well as donate to charity.

I am always more open to donating time/money if there's no "default on" or nag screens especially if there's a more personal touch to it.


If your extension is solving a problem and has many users, you could consider integrating a Flattr button in your interface. It's growing more and more popular, and I think that by being a "recurring" donation system, you get more than from a normal Paypal donation. You could try it at least, no one will get upset that you have a button for donation in there.

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