Google has decided to put a controversial Chrome feature on the backburner after users complained about it. The feature in question would hide the full addresses for websites, only leaving the core URL visible.
“The origin chip work is backburnered,” said Peter Kasting, Chrome team member, mentioning that the process has been demoted from a top priority to a third-level priority.
It remains unclear why Google would make this decision, especially since the origin chip is already mostly done and some of the details continue to be active. For instance, while the shorter URLs will appear in full, the longer ones, that don’t fit in the address bar, are more likely to get shortened.
The feature has only been available for a fraction of beta users, in an attempt to see whether people liked it or not. Most of the feedback has been negative, however, since the URL reveals quite a bit of information that can be useful for users.
Google had actually tried a similar thing with its search engine a while back, deciding to only display the hyperlinks without the URL listed below. The response from users quickly got the company backpedaling since most were concerned about spammy links. Not knowing what link they were about to access was seen as a security risk that many weren’t ready to take.
Truth be told, the Chrome feature isn’t all that bad. The way we navigate the web has changed quite a bit and it’s not necessary anymore to view the entire URL after you’ve already visited a trusted page. Most often than not, we either access a page directly from a search engine, or visit page after page after ending up on a site.
Furthermore, even in the short form, when trying to copy the URL, you’d still get the full address to share with whomever you want.
However, people are fond of features they’ve known for many years, which explains the reaction that most had to the efforts. Google sees the minimalist presentation as an invitation to search. After all, the feature is already present to an extent in the stable Chrome version as well. For instance, if you type news.softpedia.com in Chrome and then press the space bar, you’ll be able to search for whatever keywords you want directly inside the Softpedia site.
Since the shortcuts needed to obtain the same results directly from the Google homepage are more difficult to work with, this is quite a useful addition.