The news: Google is postponing the implementation of its plan to remove third-party tracking cookies from its Chrome browser yet again, to the second half of 2024, per Insider.
Deja vu: We’re not accidentally re-running an old story; if the sequence sounds familiar, it’s because this has happened before. In January 2020, Google had stated that "within two years" it would stop supporting third-party cookies in Chrome. However, last year, Google extended the deadline to late 2023.
Half (50%) of US publishers feel the deprecation of third-party cookies could be an opportunity to differentiate via their own first-party data, up from 25% who said the same last year, according to Teads. Knowledge about cookies has also increased, with 30% of publishers saying they had a “strong understanding” of cookies compared with 23% in 2021. The number saying they had “limited to no knowledge” dropped to just 6%.
The winners: Considering they’re still dealing with Apple’s privacy changes, inflation, and fluctuating ad expenditures, many should be breathing a sigh of relief.
The losers: This could be a blow to upstart vendors who are trying to woo brands and agencies to their post-cookie solutions.
Jury’s out: Google isn’t a exactly a loser here—it’s showing it’s responsive to stakeholders, after all—but pushing a major deadline back repeatedly isn’t a great look.
Analyst insight: “While this might be a short-term relief to marketers and advertisers, obviously it’s just a stay of execution,” said principal analyst Dave Frankland. “But in the medium term, it will just add to the market confusion as even more alternative solutions appear and/or we’ll see more experimentation.”
Why it matters: Although much of the digital economy—including mobile apps and CTV—do not rely on third-party cookies, Chrome represents two in three browsers used on a global basis. Given that, Google’s pushing back the deprecation of third-party cookies is huge.
But regardless of the deadline, investing in the cookieless future sooner rather than later is a wise bet for all stakeholders.