On January 25, 2021, Google announced that advertisers will be able to start testing their alternative to the third-party cookie, named “Federated Learning of Cohorts,” or FLoC for short. With FLoC, users’ private information (like web history) remains anonymous, by grouping people together based on similar interests into their respective cohorts. These cohorts would then be available for advertisers to target, so they can continue to be relevant without relying on data provided by third-party cookies.
On paper, FLoC appears to be a win-win for users and advertisers alike. The user gains more internet privacy, and advertisers are still able to effectively deliver targeted ads. Not only will FLoC allow successful ad targeting without third-party cookies, but Google says it will also provide enough data to advertisers so that they can effectively attribute and measure performance.
Google is so confident in their technology, they even claim in their announcement that advertisers “can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising.”
Here’s to hoping this isn’t too good to be true; Google says they will make FLoC-built cohorts available for advertisers, specifically Google Ads, in Q2 2021.