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What's new in Chrome Extensions in 2023

ExtensionNinja | 6/22/2023

2023 has brought exciting changes to web extensions. With the introduction of Manifest V3, a new extension format, developers can now enhance security and build user trust. The Chrome Web Store has also undergone significant updates, including badges for top publishers, privacy practices disclosure, and upcoming store redesign. In this blog post, we'll explore these exciting changes in web extensions and their impact on developers and users.

Extension Manifest V3

Manifest V3 is a fresh web extension format aimed at enhancing the security model and instilling user trust. As of 2023, it has gained support across all major browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. Initially, Google had set ambitious goals for migrating to MV3 in the Chrome Web Store. However, the status of this migration has been postponed until further notice.

The Chrome team has made subtle improvements to the Chrome Web Store by introducing Established Publisher and Featured badges. These new badges serve as a reward system for developers who consistently adhere to Chrome extension best practices. By displaying these badges, developers can instill a heightened sense of trust among users and potentially increase the number of installations for their extensions

Privacy practices disclosure

Chrome extensions are now required to disclose their privacy practices, further fostering trust between developers and users within the Web Store.

New extension menu in Chrome

The Chrome team is diligently working on an enhanced browser extension menu that provides end-users with clearer indications of the permissions utilized by extensions on a given page. This menu enables users to quickly disable extensions or grant and deny new host permissions. While the exact release date is currently unknown, it is advisable to stay alert for changes in Chrome Canary releases.

Furthermore, Chrome is exploring ways to enhance the extension installation dialog, granting users more explicit control over host permissions during the installation process.

New Chrome Web Store

Google plans to unveil a redesigned Chrome Web Store later this year, simplifying the process of discovering extensions that are most relevant to individual users.

Side Panel

The side panel introduces an entirely novel approach to presenting browser extension user interfaces to users. It seamlessly showcases the extension UI alongside website content, allowing users to maintain context from the current page, stay engaged, and boost productivity. The Side Panel UI feature is available starting from Chrome 114 and is exclusive to Manifest V3 extensions.

Wrap up

The web extension landscape is evolving rapidly, and staying informed about the latest changes is vital for developers. With Manifest V3 and the updates in the Chrome Web Store, developers have access to improved security, user trust, and enhanced features. Embrace these advancements, and unlock the full potential of web extensions to create exceptional browsing experiences.

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