Google has announced that FloC is being replaced by Topics API!
Before you start panicking because you don’t know what FloC is or what it means for you, I have put together this short blog to explain.
This is a new move into Interest Based Advertising this week as they roll out FLoC as part of their move towards phasing out cookies by 2023.
What is FloC?
FloC stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts, FLOC. FLoC aimed to constantly group people into big baskets designed by algorithms based on websites users visited in the last week. Advertisers could show ads to a preferred one of these baskets but wouldn’t necessarily know the individuals within each basket or interests they shared in common.
Why is Google Abandoning it?
Recently, some advertisers have found FLoC less effective than cookies. Safari & Firefox have already implemented some blocks against 3rd party tracking cookies, and Google had previously pledged to phase out cookies by 2023. There’s a lot on the table when it comes to ad space dominance, regulatory & new tech, but essentially (and long story short), this move is part of that phase. Google’s 3rd party cookies with FLoC are now being replaced by the Topics API, a new system for interest-based advertising.
So.. what does this mean for me?
Your browser will learn about your interests as you move around the web, keeping that data for approx 3 weeks. They will categorise these sites into 300 (for now) various topics (that list will grow). Data can be passed to advertisers just like Push, who can decide which ads to show you, based on your browsing history. But, as a user, you’ll now be able to have greater control on transparency and topics on lists.
Let’s sum up what Topics are:
Topics / “Interest-Based Advertising” (IBA) are a signal for advertisers to decide which ad to show to a given user. Personalised advertising is based on interests derived from the sites that users have visited in the past.
There will be a LOT more news around this, our eyes are peeled!