As of today, just over 10 million of Ghostery's 20 million users have opted in to have their website visits and related tag data tracked* for use in Evidon's analytics products. While the update is likely to boost installs (and GhostRank opt-ins), an Evidon representative said it might prove difficult to increase the ratio of panel participants beyond their current, already-lofty 50%.
A more likely (and still positive for Evidon) outcome is that the total number of GhostRank users increases along with Ghostery installs, but the ratio of panel participants remains flat or declines.
Evidon has not yet engaged in a paid install campaign for Ghostery. Rather its media impressions are all viral and earned, including through annual hackathons and a presence at the South by Southwest festival.
Since Ghostery’s name basically stands for transparency, Evidon knows it needs to be upfront in how it communicates product plans and promotes the plugin, which is why it recently updated its language to ensure users are clear on what they're agreeing to.
Here's how it describes GhostRank to users:
"GhostRank is an option you can select if you would like to support Ghostery. When you select it, you allow Ghostery to track trackers as your browser traverses the internet. The anonymous information on the trackers is sent back to us, and we make reports out of it. It’s how we make money, it makes the internet more transparent for everyone."
Importantly, the 5.1 update includes East Asian languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Ghostery downloads nearly doubled last year in these countries, according to Evidon, though actual numbers weren't disclosed. The Asia market represents a significant growth opportunity.
*Data is anonymous and aggregated – i.e. not linked to individual users.