After generating some controversy in the EU, Google has decided to terminate FLoC. However, Alphabet’s tech giant has also introduced Topics as an alternative.
Google has opted to end FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) and proposed an alternative after generating significant controversy in the European Union.
The FLoC, which looked to categorize and group users with the same interests to show them advertisements, overcoming the current model based on Internet searches of individual profiles, had the mission of replacing third-party cookies from the end of this year.
However, Google confirmed that it would replace FLoC with Topics: a system based on categories constructed based on interests picked up from users’ navigation. This type of publicity will be different from FLoC’s and other contextual advertising in that it shows ads depending on the page that is currently visited.
Google expects to gradually eliminate third-party cookies in Chrome during the first few months of 2023 until the end of the year, when they are scheduled to be deleted entirely.
What is Topics?
Google will define a set of themes or topics (i.e. “fitness”, “technology”, “marketing”, “music”, etc.). These will represent the categories of interest that are more prominent in a user’s weekly navigation history.
That way, when a user visits a website that uses Topics, the search engine will share relevant advertising with topics of their interest.
Still, this will allow for more control towards the user, allowing them to customize their topics to their leisure. This will help both Google and marketing firms find relevant information about users’ topics of interest without invading their privacy through cookies.
The API from topics will begin testing at the end of the first trimester of 2022.
Marketing agencies like MRKT360 have already begun to think ahead and adjust potential strategies to adapt to this sudden change and have elaborated on the topic to ease their clients’ worries and questions about Google’s new Topics API.