Google changes the ad game
Image: Denis Sazhin / Protocol
Good morning! This Thursday, Google's anti-tracking stance is a big deal for the ad world (but not really for Google), Safari looks like the future and Snap is poised to grow like crazy.
Also, we have a new episode of the Source Code podcast! I talked with Google's Javier Soltero about Google Workspace, calendars, the future of work and what it means to run a team going forward. It's a fun one; Javier has some strong feelings about calendar events.
It sounds like a win-win, at first. Google announced that as it phases third-party cookies out of Chrome, it won't replace them with any other way to track individual users across websites. "We will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products," the director of product management, ads privacy and user trust, David Temkin, wrote. Hurray, privacy! Sort of.
Google can obviously still collect data as you use Google products — which almost everyone does, all day every day — and use that data to target ads. (The new decision also doesn't apply to mobile, which I'm told a few people use.)
This isn't a white-knight move from Google, but rather a simple way to get rid of something that users hate and Google doesn't really need.
In reality, the future is first-party data. And to those with the largest scale go the spoils. Quantcast, for one, is trying to aggregate its way there: It launched the new Quantcast Platform yesterday, designed to bring together lots of publishers and websites to compete with Google and Facebook.
Where are these changes in tracking ultimately headed? Well, Feldman told me, there's an easy way to figure out how the internet might work in the future: Just turn on your MacBook. "Most of us are using Safari as a predictor for how the whole internet is going to look in a couple years' time," he said.
Safari was way ahead of the game in blocking cookies, and Apple has been using what it calls Intelligent Tracking Protection for the last couple of years to make it much harder for advertisers or anyone else to track Safari users. It also tries to send less user data to search engines such as Google.
Apple's no white knight either, of course. "I think the walled gardens would be pretty happy if content could only be monetized through an app store," Feldman said. "That would suit them really well."
But if Google is the most consequential company in this space — and as the owner of the biggest online ad business and the most popular browser, it obviously is — Apple's probably still the most influential. So if you want to make sure you don't get caught napping, keep an eye on Safari.
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In an interview with Tom Lantzsch, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Internet of Things Group (IoT) at Intel Corp., Lantzach shares his take on edge computing: There are more innovations to come — and technology leaders should think equally about data and the algorithms as critical differentiators.
"Us against the world" doesn't work in the modern tech biz, Satya Nadella said:
Snap's investments in ad tech set it up to make more money even if it doesn't keep growing, Evan Spiegel said:
Pandora was early to the music game, and Tim Westergren said that might have been why it lost to Spotify:
Twitter's planning to take it slow on Apple's new anti-tracking features, Twitter CFO Ned Segal said:
Z Holdings is looking for an Instagram-esque acquisition opportunity, Kentaro Kawabe said:
Kevin Mayer is the new chairman of DAZN, replacing John Skipper. Presumably he'll keep this title longer than he held on to the CEO gig at TikTok.
Okta bought Auth0 for $6.5 billion, bringing another form of sign-in into the Okta fold.
Frances Townsend is the new head of compliance at Activision Blizzard, tasked with navigating what's become a fast-moving gaming regulatory world.
Intel named more of the exec team for its new managed infrastructure company, including Elly Keinan as group president and Maria Bartolome Winans as CMO.
It is absolutely undeniable that the AmazonBasics Camera Bag looks suspiciously like the Peak Design Everyday Sling. (If the picture isn't enough evidence, how's this: Amazon's was initially called the Everyday Sling. Subtle!) But instead of just harumphing and moving on, Peak Design released an amazingly sick burn in YouTube form: "If you're tired of supporting companies who innovate, and just not willing to pay for responsibly made products, don't!"
I have a feeling Peak Design is about to sell a lot of Everyday Slings.
In an interview with Tom Lantzsch, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Internet of Things Group (IoT) at Intel Corp., Lantzach shares his take on edge computing: There are more innovations to come – and technology leaders should think equally about data and the algorithms as critical differentiators.
Today's Source Code was written by David Pierce, with help from Anna Kramer and Shakeel Hashim. Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to email@example.com, or our tips line, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your day; see you tomorrow.