“As an advertising industry, we’ve done a very poor job of communicating to the end-user as to why we’re tracking them, and why this is beneficial. Few consumers understand how any of this works, and with lack of understanding it’s simple to just say no and block it.”
Although they were initially created with good intentions, cookies have sparked much backlash and controversy in recent years— especially where user data privacy is concerned. As stated above, perhaps a lack of communication from the outset between advertisers and end-users is to blame. Either way, more consumers are saying “no” to cookies and data tracking, and, as a result, web browsers are, too.
Before we take a look at the browsers no longer supporting cookies and how this impacts your small business’s digital ads, let’s first clarify what cookies are and how they work.
What’s the Scoop? The Difference Between First- & Third-Party Cookies
Cookies store information in order to identify users and enhance their browsing experience online. There are two types of cookies, first-party cookies and third-party cookies:
- First-party cookies are created for use on websites and help customize the content its visitors are exposed to. These cookies allow the browser to store important user information, like the items you’ve added to your shopping cart, your password and user name, and specific language preferences.
- Third-party cookies track a user’s data on their internet browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.). These cookies are used by advertisers to retarget users with personalized messaging based on their behavior online. (This is why you’ll see ads for products you were looking at yesterday as you browse entirely new, unrelated web content today).
The Death of Third-Party Cookies: What to Expect
Although third-party cookies were created with good intentions, internet browsers can no longer ignore the call to update the cookie-based system. In fact, browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Safari have already stopped supporting third-party cookies, and Google has announced that they will block third-party cookies in Chrome by the end of 2021.
The demise of third-party cookies means consumers should anticipate a far less personalized ad experience as the digital advertising space is rebuilt to balance user identification and user privacy. Brands who manage their own digital advertising, on the other hand, should expect more difficulty in discerning whether or not their ads are targeting the correct demographic.
How to Navigate Digital Ads as Third-Party Cookies Crumble
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