Digital Dose: Disablement of Third-Party Cookie Tracking and X’s 2024 Development Plan

Welcome to your regular dose of trending news from the digital universe, courtesy of the Spectrum Science Innovation Team.

In this edition of Digital Dose, we’re diving into Google’s disablement of third-party cookie tracking for its 30 million Chrome product users and X’s recently released 2024 development plan.

Google implements third-party tracking protection for its 30 million Chrome Users

Summary: Joining the likes of Safari and Firefox, Google’s Chrome browser has begun to disable third-party cookie tracking for 30 million Chrome users with third-party cookies scheduled to be disabled for all users in Q3 2024. Read more.

Why it matters: Without third-party cookies, advertisers lose valuable insights into user preferences and browsing habits, making it challenging to deliver targeted and personalized ads. Additionally, measuring the performance and attribution of online campaigns will become increasingly difficult, affecting the overall efficiency of digital advertising strategies. At this time, there are two key strategic modifications advertisers should consider:

  • Advertisers will need to focus on building privacy-centric strategies that focus on the use of first-party data and contextual targeting to reach users.
  • Aggregated data and statistical modeling may reduce discrepancies in data collection as third-party cookie signals are sunset.

X provides insights into 2024 development plan

“2023 was foundational for X, and 2024 will be transformational.”

Summary: A new overview of X’s roadmap for 2024 included a wide range of notes on how the previous year has set X up for success in the next stage of X owner Elon Musk’s “everything app” plan. Included in the roadmap:

  • Payments: X says it will launch peer-to-peer payments this year and has made progress on this front by seeking payment transmitter licenses in U.S. and securing a new deal with Shopify.
  • Improvements using AI: X says it will look to implement AI solutions to enhance ads, search and more.
  • Original content: X has already used the language “video first platform” and is investing in new deals with former TV stars including Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon. The longtime top ‘companion app’ for live TV discussion, video may not be a far leap for the platform. But Twitter/X has tried and failed to incorporate TV-like content in the past with limited success.
  • Ad improvements: X is looking to incorporate more brand safety elements and re-shape its ad process around video content.

Within the blog, X also shared a range of new stats on its current performance, such as the claim of having seen a “22% increase in total ad engagements.” This, and other stats included, should give most marketers pause – as X has lost 50% of its ad revenue in the last year, and claims made by both Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino have been questioned in the past. Read more.

Why it matters: With declining revenue, reduced in-house resources and the pace at which X will need to develop to bring their plans to life, it may be challenging to accomplish the goals set out in this plan. Notably absent from the plan yet critical to the success of the platform in 2024 is convincing ad partners that X is a trusted and viable partner for their ad dollars. For many, Musk’s public stances on divisive issues and quickness to make sweeping platform changes with little or no advanced notice to advertisers—and to his own employees—is the root cause of hesitance to rejoin the platform and this is only likely to get worse in an election year. As always, Spectrum will continue to monitor X and critically assess the platform’s utility for our clients.  

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