Google is considering adding a score to Chrome that measures your engagement on every website you visit. The browser would then use that score to allocate resources, including battery usage and space, among all sites being accessed.
Developer and Google open-source Chromium evangelist François Beaufort spotted the addition as a ticket on Chromium Code Reviews. The feature is hidden behind an experimental flag that you first have to enable in the latest Chrome build.
This is definitely not yet ready for prime time. Even the ticket’s description is rather vague: “Update data in chrome://site-engagement periodically. This CL makes the chrome://site-engagement table update every 2 seconds.”
I’d expect that update time may be changed at some point, but for now it does the trick. Chrome will rank the sites you visit based on how much you’re engaging with each.
To try the feature out yourself, head to chrome://flags in Chrome Canary and turn on Site Engagement Service. Once that’s done, you can visit the internal debug page at chrome://site-engagement.
Google describes Canary as “the most bleeding-edge official version of Chrome and somewhat of a mix between Chrome dev and the Chromium snapshot builds.” Not all features added to Canary end up being included in the final version.
At this point, it’s too early to make a call for Site Engagement Service. Because the feature is hidden behind a flag, it may never see the light of day. And even if it does, it won’t be for a while, given that it still has to make it into the Dev and Beta channels before it is released in stable.
Still, this is a very interesting proposition, especially if your remember that Chrome now automatically pauses “less important” Flash content, like ads. Tweaking the score will be key: Chrome needs to be able to allocate resources in a way that doesn’t result in a poor experience even on sites you spend less time on.