With significant investment in marketing its web software, Google’s Chrome web browser has overtaken Firefox for the first time to become Britain’s second most popular browser, statistics collated by analytics service StatCounter have revealed.

Google Chrome now holds a 22.12% share of the browser market in the region, narrowly beating Mozilla’s Firefox browser into second place with a 21.65%. Chrome’s growth has come at both Firefox’s expense and has also affected the market leader Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, although it still commands a 45.51% share – a drop of one percentage point between June and July.

Chrome was publicly released in December 2008, launching as a sleek, powerful but ultimately minimal browser that focused on browsing and operating speed by incorporating the search giant’s V8 JavaScript Engine. The source code for the project was also released alongside its first beta, encouraging developers to help streamline the browser and make it more efficient when displaying web pages and web apps.

Google’s recent growth is likely to be boosted by its television advertisements, which aired to considerable praise. The company has also launched its new Google+ social network, further promoting it services to new Google users.

Worldwide, Chrome still holds third position, but the browser is rapidly eating into both Internet Explorer’s and Firefox’s market share, with a nearly a 2% rise between June and July to hold 22.14% share. Internet Explorer and Firefox slipped around 1% each to hold 42.45% and 27.95% respectively.

With Google expected toroll out access to its social network soon, the Chrome browser could see yet another sharp rise in users as Google begins to align its services and promote the software it produces.

StatCounter browser GB monthly 201007 201107 520x304 Google Chrome overtakes Firefox to become Britains second most popular browser