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How The Post-Third-Party Cookie Era Will Look For the Tech Industry With Nick Jordan

RESOURCE CENTER   ❯   Resources   ❯   Articles5-4-21

Google’s proposal for a third-party cookies alternative is called FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), and it comes off as anti-competitive for some other tech players.

Data plays a significant role in the tech industry. It drives business forward and powers innovation. With third-party cookies going away, marketers and platforms are left wondering what the online world will look like. As with all major shifts in advertising and privacy, many other alternatives will arise to help businesses get around. One of the tech giants that already have their alternative proposal put in place is, you’ve guessed it, Google! Our guest’s got some interesting points to make about FLoC – Federated Learning of Cohorts.

Nick Jordan is the Founder of Narrative I/O, a data streaming platform that simplifies the buying and selling of information. Prior to starting Narrative I/O, he worked for leading technology companies like Yahoo and Adobe. He says his background is a mix of both technical and practical experience.

“One of my superpowers has always been able to sort of bridge between the business and the technology side. And I think as you think of data, as a subset of technology, that’s become incredibly important to my career path,” explains Nick.

In this episode of the Identity Revolution, our host Cory Davis and guest Nick talk about the tech landscape and data privacy in a world where cookies don’t exist. Do we need to panic? They also discuss the term “data streaming,” the Narrative’s goals for the future, and the potential emergence of FLoC.


What is a data streaming platform, and how does it help both data pillars and data buyers?

Narrative I/O is a data streaming platform with a goal to help its clients make selling and buying data more accessible. The term “data streaming platform” does cause some confusion in the industry. What does it exactly mean to be a data streaming platform?

When you say “streaming platform,” what companies come to mind first? Our guess is Netflix or Spotify. If that’s what you thought of, you’re pretty close. Here’s how Nick Jordan defines it. “We ultimately chose the term ‘data streaming platform’ because we see what we do very similar to what Spotify or Netflix does around content. We’re trying to do the same thing around data.”

Remember the good old days when you had to go to a music store to listen to a new song? Luckily for us, those days are over. Similarly, Narrative is on a mission to make access to data easier. “We’d love to have the entire corpus of information that’s been generated in the history of the world available on our platform. Let the folks that are generating that bring it to market and in a very streamlined and easy way. Allow the people that want to acquire that data to do it in a way that’s just as easy as it is to stream a song on Spotify.”


The core use cases of data go beyond marketing and advertising

Although Narrative predominantly supports marketing and advertising use cases, it was made to have a general-purpose. Now that the company has matured in a way, they are more prepared to scale the business and expand their clientele.

“In the early stages of the company, we wanted to have a little focus. If we had gone out from day one and said, ‘We’re going to solve all of the world’s problems with the three employees that we have, we would have been set up for failure.'”

Fast forward a few years, Narrative’s technology has significantly improved and allowed them to support more than just marketing and advertising.


Google’s alternative to third-party cookies (FLoC) is changing the tech landscape

Everyone’s talking about the cookieless future. But what does that mean for the tech industry? And what is FLoC, Google’s alternative to third-party cookies?

Federated Learning of Cohorts, commonly known as FLoC, is Google’s new way of tracking users’ activity within the Google Chrome browser.

“A FLoC is a proposal. It’s not, I think, fully baked what it’s going to ultimately be, put out by Google about how at least within the Chrome browser and the privacy sandbox that sits within Chrome companies can continue to leverage data assets in a world where the cookie is going away. There’s no persistent identifier across those browsers. It uses a lot of somewhat well-known techniques applied and relatively novel ways to do what it does.

Layman’s version is that the browser will store all of the data that historically might have been held with the advertisers, the publishers, or the technology companies. But the browser becomes the database that stores all of the information about the user.”


For every change, there is a solution

Nick says that one of the most common questions he gets asked is how to prepare for the possible Google and Apple changes coming up in the future.

“My answer is, ‘Take a deep breath.’ There’s what can only be described as panic around some of these changes that are happening right now, and there’s uncertainty. People don’t like uncertainty. But I would largely say, ‘Stay the course.'”

Change in business is inevitable. There’s no point in panicking before any fundamental shift takes place. The key is to realize that there will always be a solution, no matter the situation’s complexity.

“Any changes that happen are going to happen over time, and there will largely be solutions to those changes. But there’s no need to run around pulling your hair out in the short term until those things are largely in place.”


Note: This is based on an episode of Identity Revolution, Infutor’s podcast featuring data-driven experts discussing all things marketing, analytics and identity. We take a deep dive into industry trends, strategies, and the future of data technology.

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