Vivaldi Browser CEO wants to fix web advertising

He’s not anti-advertising… he’s just pro-content, and wants to see a future where we can focus on the message and meaning behind the content, rather than how we’re going to pay for it.

“I’m a loon”


Vivaldi is one of our favorite browsers, and for good reason. It’s filled to the brim not just with customization options and features that help enhance your web browsing experience, but it also has a built-in tracking blocker that works to limit advertisers from following you around the web everywhere you go. While that sort of thing’s a standard feature on many browsers today, in Vivaldi’s case, there’s more to it. Vivaldi’s CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, whom we sat down with after MWC 2023, doesn’t believe in the attention- and tracking-based advertising world we live in today, and is advocating for a radical renaissance that shifts us to a broad and content-based approach, like we’re familiar with from print and TV. The true catalyst that started the engine of mass internet consumption was the addition of mobile internet devices. The first popular smartphones came out in 2007, and Apple’s iPhone was the first of its kind. The iPhone allowed people to wield internet in their pocket, and the subsequent popularity of Android smartphones further cemented internet consumption as something that was accessible to the everyday person.

According to Jon, this interest-focused marketing strategy is derived from the fact that most

To start with a little excursion, Jon explains to us that the internet wasn’t always the attention-based advertising machine that we know it to be today. This trend supposedly really only started when Facebook went public in 2012 and started to focus on the interests of shareholders. The company was then forced to keep users on the platform as long as possible and monetize their interactions, leading to the redesign of the Facebook feed to be less focused on people you know, and more focused on supposedly interesting content.

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