Issue #199

Apple’s death blow to Facebook?

Not sure if you heard about it, but Safari (Apple’s web browser) is dealing a death blow to third-party tracking cookies. And at their last WWDC event (the Apple developer conference), the speaker took a direct shot at Facebook.

See, Facebook can and does track you around the web. You know those LIKE buttons you see all over pretty much every website? Well, even if you don’t press that button, the code behind it sees you. Since almost all of us are logged into Facebook all the time, Facebook can tell what sites you’re visiting because those LIKE buttons see you.

So, Apple is going to use a pop-up to warn people of such tracking cookies. Of course, by making it obvious like that, most will likely decline.

Even though Safari is not a web browser run by a majority (heck, I use a Mac and I use Chrome), Apple does tend to be a trendsetter. By Apple taking this stand and raising awareness of it in such a public way, it is likely other browsers will eventually follow suit.

So, what does this mean?

If you’re just a casual user of the web, it means very little. However, as people who use blogs and other web-based services to reach an audience, this will have an impact over time.

I’ve written about this before, but I think the act of retargeting is going to get harder and more expensive as time goes on. Also, even regular ads could begin to lose some effectiveness because of the lessening of available tracking data to profile people.

In many ways, the world of online advertising has been in the “wild wild west” days. But, as things have progressed and concerns over user privacy have risen, I think things will mature. They already are.

The use of paid traffic and advertising is never going to stop, of course. It is part of life… part of how media works… and it will always be that way.

But, we as content creators and marketers don’t want to be caught in the middle by being dependent on them.

The solution is simple, but takes work. It is…


Build media that YOU control and YOU set the rules. This means…. your blog and your email list. By spending your primary efforts building up these platforms, you are immune to whatever changes take place in the ad industry over time.

You also want to be building a retargeting list. This means that you put the Facebook pixel on your site and you build that audience. Do the same with Google. Even if you don’t pay to do any ads, that retargeting list is an asset. And now it is easier to build than it may be later.

But, your primary objective is your email list and your blog. Build that community.

Putting out content people want. Having them seek YOU out because of what you offer… not by you having to distract them with ads.

Good marketers, honestly, have nothing to worry about with any changes in the world of advertising. It is only the one-trick ponies who rely exclusively on paid advertising without building any community that are going to have the harder time.

– David

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