Good morning, Marketers, FLoC is no more.

Yesterday, Google announced the Topics API, its replacement for FLoC (which was a replacement for third-party cookies). You can learn more about the proposal in our coverage linked above, but here’s the TL;DR:

  • The Topics API will select topics of interest, based on the user’s browsing history, and share those topics with participating sites for advertising purposes.
  • Up to five topics can be associated with a browser, and the API will share up to three of those with a site. Topics are stored for three weeks, with topic selection occurring on the device.
  • Topics is launching with 300 topics. “This is a starting point; we could see this getting into the low thousands or staying in the hundreds [of topics],” said Ben Galbraith, Chrome product director.

At this point, many of the reactions I’ve witnessed from practitioners seem to be about the death of FLoC instead of the introduction of Topics. But, this new targeting methodology is sure to present new challenges and considerations for advertisers. I’ll be diving into what those are over the next few days.

Topics may be the future for Google Ads, but like FLoC, what that future looks like might depend on adoption (or lack thereof) from other browsers. As Galbraith said when I questioned him about this, “Time will tell.”

George Nguyen,

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