Why Are Tech Giants Pushing For Cookie Apocalypse

3rd party cookies are going away, forever. If you don’t understand what it means, browsers will no longer allow any third parties to track you. Safari, Mozilla and Brave already block these 3rd party cookies and Chrome has also given a 2022 deadline. By 2022, 90% of web-traffic will be blocked from getting tracked by 3rd party cookies.

As soon as I wrote that, I realized that it sounds like a great thing for privacy proponents. And it probably is. Big tech giants including Apple, Facebook & Google are rooting for it. However, do you think they are doing that for altruistic reasons? Because they care about privacy of the users? Or do you think they are far more likely to root for something for capitalist reasons? Here’s what’s happening.

Why Giants Love It

Facebook, Google and Apple have insane amount of first party data. They have locked-in users that they can directly track using their own platforms. First party cookies can not and are not going anywhere. So they are counting on the fact that all the small guys will be crushed by the apocalypse, giving these tech giants more control and bigger market share than before.

Not only that, Facebook & Google have already worked a work-around to track all outbound traffic generated from their websites by passing on a parameter (FBCLID & GCLID). So they can continue to track users on many websites as long as the user is referred via their platforms, all without 3rd party cookies.

What Happens to Small Guys

If you’re an independent publisher, I have bad news for you. I know you already feel bad about your business with ad blockers killing you for years, reduced affiliate commissions, and a broken subscription model. Making money as an independent content creator is hard. Unless you embrace the platforms.

If you’re a creator on YouTube, you’re good. You publish and monetize the content within the Google eco-system, there’s no problem for you. If you’re a content creator on Facebook and Instagram, your problems are taken care of too. But if you’re an independent creator outside of these platforms, then hell is ready to break loose on you. Your declining ad-performance is going to get worse. Unless of course, your textual content embraces Facebook instant articles or Google’s AMP. Or you have a successful subscription model.

Cost of Advertising on Facebook & Google

As these platforms prepare to take a larger market-share because of better tracking, ease of finding relevant customers because of tracking, and a better conversion attribution, more and more brands and marketers will endorse advertising on these platforms pushing the CPMs through the roof. 3rd party advertising will prepare for death.

Conclusion

While this seems great for privacy of users, I don’t think it presents any significant improvement. It only blocks tracking for small guys and independent creators. Nothing changes for Google, Facebook or other tech giants.

If you’re an independent creator outside of these platforms, you have less than 2 years to make a transition to serve content & find audience on these platforms. If you don’t intend to do that, you should transition to subscription model. If you plan to continue to monetize with advertising, you should create a lock-in with your users for first-party tracking and sell advertising directly.

What To Expect From COVID-19 Coronavirus

Bill Gates wrote, and I quote

In the past week, Covid-19 has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about. I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise.

I recommend that you read the full article written by Bill Gates to get in depth insight on the epidemic. In the meanwhile, just like Bill Gates, I hope it’s not that bad, but for now there’s no reason for me to believe that it isn’t. So I’ve done some reading on the subject myself, and want to present some facts below.

Please note that I’ve no intention of driving panic, and all intentions of initiating correct preparation for the Covid-19 epidemic by sharing my thoughts below.

1) Stock Market

The American stock market is down 15% in last 1 week. Companies will publish their Q1 2020 earning reports between 15th April and 15th May. I expect the stocks to be in downtrend until April/May timeframe, and if earning reports are quite bad, they may trigger a potential recession. Apple has issued an early warning for investors. Actions to take: Sit tight and wait until April/May for more clarity on investment strategy.

2) Vaccination

According to Bill Gates, June could be the earliest time-frame for large-scale vaccination “trials” meaning we are unlikely to have vaccination available at scale and approved by FDA before Q4.

3) China

There’s a unified opinion that China is under-reporting cases. There’s complete lock-down in China and I wouldn’t expect China to cause such damage to their economy for something that’s not very serious.

Most researchers believe the actual number of cases to be 10x more, and hence 800,000 people could be infected in China.

4) Death rates

Death rates are 2-3% in Wuhan and 10% in Iran. The death rate is 1% in rest of China. This makes me believe death rates are obviously dependent on the conditions of health-care available as well as the capacity of number of patients that can be treated simultaneously. Assuming China has the ability to provide better healthcare than global average quality, the death rate could be more on global level.

5) Death numbers

Researchers believe that up-to 20% of the global population could get affected. Assuming 20% of global population and 1% death rate, there will be 14 million deaths. Assuming 0.5% death rate there will be 7 million deaths. And assuming 3% death rate, there could be 42 million deaths.

6) Virality

The virality rate is 3 which means every individual will at average infect 3 other people. This is much higher than common flu where the virality rate is 1.5.

7) What to do

In addition to all the advice that you’ve heard/read so far about washing hands, not shaking hands, avoiding gathering, etc, I recommend that everyone should stock minimum 1 month of grocery and 2 months of medication if someone uses regular medication at home such as for heart or diabetes etc. 60% of all medicine is manufactured in China which is on complete shutdown right now. There will be delays and shortage in medication.

May God protect us all