If you are tired of slow-loading websites and cookies tracking your every move online, Scroll now offers subscribers a different type of internet experience. For $4.99 a month, subscribers can access websites that load twice as fast and that have 80% fewer trackers. Subscribers can also browse and read completely ad-free on 300+ participating websites. Up to 70% of user subscription fees support partner websites, and Scroll keeps 30% to fund their operations.
Scroll talks about its rationale for building a better way to browse in a January 28 blog post.
The internet was meant to feel magical…increasingly the internet is feeling less like something built for us and more like something done to us. We navigate slow-loading pages with auto-expanding video ads, misleading headlines, and widgets full of junk links. Were told our privacy is important as our data is captured and sold, wrote Scroll.
This isnt working for the sites either. Ad revenue is going to the big platforms and our favorite sites are closing down, laying people off, or doubling the ads on the page to survive. Weve ended up on the darkest timeline and no one is happy, Scroll added.
How does it work exactly? Scroll says it is not a browser extension, nor is it an app. Go to the internet using your favorite browser, and log into Scroll. When you visit a website that partners with Scroll, your reading experience will be automatically integrated with Scroll. You dont need to do anything, but “scroll” to read or view articles on your favorite websites.
According to Scrolls FAQs, it partners with more than 300 sites, but the list we found was pretty brief, so we reached out for more information. They responded quickly with the complete list, and said they are adding new ones all the time. Heres the list they shared on their website:
Besides the faster load times and minimal tracking, additional Scroll features include syncing across devices, audio for every article, searchability, and the ability to use Scroll via different browsers (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer) and apps like Twitter and Facebook.
We love the passion behind the project and the idea that subscribers are willing to pay for a better internet. However, we found Scrolls messaging and features confusing. On the blog announcement, they say an app isnt needed to use Scroll, though if you want to use it on iOS, you need an app. You also need a Scroll browser extension to use it in Safari. Yet on the Features page, we found that there is a Scroll app for iOS and Android. [We found a Scroll app in the Google Play store.]
Something else we werent able to easily find was a place to sign up. From their blog, we only found one link to sign up, near the bottom of the post. However, if you go directly to Scroll.com, it is easy to find a place to sign up. Scroll offers a 30-day free trial, and for the first six months, a promotional price of $2.49 a month, no credit card required up front. We are eager to see if users will be attracted to this, especially since others like Facebook (Instant Articles) and Google (AMP) have tried similar products to improve the user experience without much success.
Personally, we like Scroll and hope that it attracts enough publishers to make this a must have subscription for avid readers. We are tired of pop-up ads and being tracked – we just want to find what we want to find and go on with our day. No fuss, no frills, just good content with fair compensation being paid to publishers. Win, win, right?