I was clueless how big and competitive a marketplace Chrome extensions are until Oleg Anashkin decided to document all of the proposals he’s received over the years to monetize Hover Zoom+. His reasoning:
The main reason I continue to maintain this extension is because I can hardly trust others to not fall for one of these offers. I’m fortunate to have a job that pays well enough to allow me to keep my moral compass and ignore all of these propositions. I realize that not everyone has the same financial security so hopefully this thread would shed some light on what kind of pressure is put on extension developers.
There were too many for me to read them all, but I scanned and they range everywhere from completely scammy/ridiculous to potentially legit and tempting. Take this one, for instance, from May 27, 2020:
We monetize search traffic. Your extension is great for this and i would like to see you among our partners.
Here is a little information about how much money you can earn working with us.
Your audience is 300,000 users
On average, 1 person makes 1 search query per day.
For 1 thousand searches on average you will receive $ 30 per day.
Your real profit per day will be $ 9000.
What is necessary for this? 8 lines of code in the manifest of your extension.
I will be glad to see you among our partners.
$9k a day just for adding 8 little lines of code sure does sound nice. But the devil, of course, is in the details of what those 8 lines actually do. Is it worth betraying your users’ trust so someone can “monetize their search traffic” in order to to cash in? Turns out that’s the kind of decision that many successful Chrome extension developers have to make on a recurring basis.