An add-on, also known as an add-on or extension, is software that is installed in a main program to add new features and improve its performance. Typically, add-ons are small pieces of code that allow users to customize their experience of using a software, adding extra features that are not present in the original installation of the program.
Add-ons are very popular in web browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. These browsers have a large number of add-ons that allow users to block advertising, download videos, improve privacy, among other functions.
Types of Add-ons
Add-ons can be classified according to their functionality:
- Ad blockers: are add-ons that prevent the appearance of pop-ups and advertisements on web pages. This allows for smoother navigation and faster page loading speeds.
- Video downloaders: there are add-ons that allow you to download videos from different streaming platforms, such as Youtube or Vimeo. In this way, videos can be viewed without having an internet connection.
- Privacy improvements: There are add-ons that increase the user’s privacy when browsing the internet. These add-ons can block trackers and cookies from websites, as well as encrypt transmitted information.
- Productivity extensions: These are add-ons that help increase productivity at work, for example, by adding task management tools or quick notes.
- Social media support: Add-ons can be integrated into social networks to facilitate their use, such as allowing the download of images or scheduling publications.
Examples of Popular Add-ons
We show below as an example some of the most used extensions:
- AdBlock: It is a very popular ad blocker in web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It allows to avoid the appearance of advertisements in various formats, such as banners, pop-ups and videos, which improves browsing speed and reduces user distraction. AdBlock has a list of filters that is constantly updated to block the most intrusive and annoying ads.
- Video DownloadHelper: is a video downloader that allows you to save multimedia content from websites such as Youtube, Dailymotion and Facebook. This Add-on is integrated into the browser and appears as an icon that is activated when a video is played on a web page. Clicking on the icon opens a window with different download options, from qualities to file formats. Video DownloadHelper has more than 10 million downloads in the Mozilla Firefox add-on store.
- Ghostery: is a very comprehensive privacy extension that blocks website trackers, prevents the loading of cookies, and protects user information. Ghostery allows you to see which scripts and trackers are active on a page, as well as block them completely or by type. In addition, the extension displays a summary of crawl statistics on each site visited and offers advanced configuration options for the most demanding users.
- Grammarly: is a productivity add-on that helps correct and improve grammar and spelling in documents and emails. This add-on is integrated into programs such as Microsoft Word, Gmail and Outlook, and works as a real-time checker that underlines errors and suggests alternatives. Grammarly features machine learning technology that adapts to the user’s writing style and helps them improve their writing in multiple languages and fields.
- Buffer: is a social media assistant that allows you to schedule and publish content on different platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This add-on is integrated into the browser and displays a button that, when clicked, opens a control panel to add posts, adjust the time and text, and send them to multiple accounts at once. Buffer features a scheduling calendar and performance statistics to help users optimize their social media marketing strategy.