Unlike FLoC, Google’s previous alternative for third-party cookies, Topics provides a far more general degree of categorisation, making it less intrusive.
In a bid to replace third-party cookies, Google introduced a new alternative named "Topics". The new alternative delivers ads to people based on the categories of content they look for online. It also limits the categorisation to a user’s device rather than transmitting it to Google or other sites.
The Topics API will be installed in web browsers like Chrome to identify topics that represent a user's interest based on browsing behaviour. Every week, the browser will pick five topics per person, including a random topic to confuse firms attempting to gather personal data. Users can also edit the topics that have been attributed to them and turn off the ad targeting tool.
While companies and their ad tech firms have the option to associate topics with their sites, they can only access topics that are relevant to them. There are 350 interest groups currently categorised as Topics API. Publishers and advertisers must acquire consented first-party data, and ad tech firms must be agile to implement Topics.
[6 minute read]