The ideal solution would be to offer up the device's Advertising ID to the browser, just like it is available to mobile apps. That would remove all the tracking pixels and workarounds and improve privacy as the user can easily reset their ID whenever they want to.
ITP is mostly a PR play for Apple's "privacy" marketing push that again hurts publishers and smaller independent internet companies.
Just don’t use those sites. I don’t.
I haven’t used Facebook for about 10 years now.
I stopped using Google last year. DDG is great.
What’s so hard?
Ah the classic HN comment.
The problem is you don't speak for the billions of people use various Facebook and Google services to live their lives without easy alternatives. When someone is using Gmail to run their small business or using Facebook to keep in touch with their distant relatives, I'm sure saying "what's so hard" is all it takes to get them to see the error of their ways.
Apple does not do anything to stop mobile apps tracking even with the app store review and the ability to scan them both on submission and as they're running in the OS. Mobile apps are 90% of the source of adfraud and privacy issues on iOS.
Meanwhile Mobile Safari (even without ITP) has caused numerous problems with apps trying to offer webviews for content while trying to keep users signed in. There are numerous effective improvements to be made instead of messing with cookies.
After discovering mitmproxy, I checked out various apps on my Macbook. Found plenty that at least phoned home to Google Analytics on boot. Some even phoned on every action/keypress.
Not sure why HN has such a hard-on for native/mobile apps. You get performance at the expense of basically everything else. There's no dev toolbar. No extension system. No customization. No uBlock. You take it all or nothing. And you need intrusive tools like mitmproxy or Little Snitch just to get insight into their network traffic.
Electron apps can get rid of the browser chrome at least, but it comes with the cost of a redundant copy of Chromium for each app, which is worse than running in-browser in terms of resource consumption.
Web apps would be great if they could deliver the things mentioned in the first paragraph on top of their security/privacy benefits, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.
Feel free to educate me though :)
They do. Is that a problem?
This is a pretty concerning move. One week is super aggressive. There are several ways around their restrictions, but I really wish I didn't have to consider them.
Long story short, if you reflect a client-side cookie back from the server-side (by having the host site set up a CNAME to your collection servers), then it sets an HttpOnly cookie that will last as long as you tell it.
This technique is pretty effective at also skirting adblockers, which is why I really wish it weren't the easiest solution, as my company has been very conscious of not trying to work around ad blockers and the intent of web site visitors.
This is going to surprise and confuse a lot of customers in the analytics world, but ultimately, they'll adapt and we'll make do.
But cry me a river over publishers being hurt by less effective ads or supporting their business based on ads.
Ads are bad enough on desktop with plenty of real estate. They make sites unusable on mobile.
I’m going to try out Apple News+ soon. If it is any good, I’ll pay for it
Good for you if you pay for the news but you don't represent the billions of people on the internet and what they want, what they can afford, and how they value it is well known. Advertising isn't going anywhere.
I have no business interest in not wanting ads.
But what does business interest have to do with discussing advertising as a concept vs implementation? We can discuss highly technical topics with nuance but when it comes to ads, why is there such a visceral and emotional reaction?
Options include continuously changing domain names and server-side ad rendering.
People clearly have expressed their intent not to want ads, yet you want to have systems to force it on them. If people have signaled that they don’t want to ads, do you really think it is your target market. Who exactly is it serving?
Ads, especially on mobile with limited real estate, slide shows, etc makes web pages unreadable. I specifically don’t use the Facebook app or any other app that doesn’t use the SafariViewController (which supports content blockers) to display external links.
Btw, no I didn’t search for your name on the internet. I just went to your HN profile. I thought anyone who so vehemently defended the adtech business must have a business interest in it.
Most content producers want nothing more than to diversify from a dependency on ads so I knew it didn’t come from anyone on the content side.
As far users: It's not about wanting ads, it's about wanting content. The cost is paid for by ads. People make that choice willingly, and that choice is rarely relevant to any product's target customer profile, but the process is serving both users and advertisers by facilitating the trade in attention vs content. Sure content producers want direct payments, and the rise of patreon and subscriptions shows success, but the scale and reach of that is inherently limited. Very few people can afford to pay for all the varied content from so many different sources that they consume daily. That's the fundamental problem.
Bundling is just a stage in the cycle of payments that every medium goes through every few years and doesn't change the fact that most content still is, and always has been, paid for by advertising.
Irrelevant ads only waste time and money and work against both sides.
This is particularly obvious for ads for stuff like coke: Everyone knows coke exists. Ads for it do not inform at all, they only manipulate.
If ads were useful to the customer, then there would be no need to embed them with useful services, let alone to force customers to expose themselves to them by turning of their ad blockers. It would not make sense to give customers a choice between paying for a given service or suffering from ads: Those are signs that the value of ads for customers is negative. If it were positive, you could even charge extra for them.
Despite being a very bad method of informing customers, ads might be defensible if they were the only one. But they aren't. Classifieds may technically be ads, but they differ fundamentally from others in that customers specifically seek them out. That indicates that customers do get value from them.
Another suitable method of informing customers are newspapers and magazines, especially specialized magazines and ones like Consumer Reports. Their interests are aligned with the customer because it's the customer who pays them.
Admittedly, there is a problem with those publications: Most of them also contain ads. That means advertisers can influence their reporting with the threat, spoken or unspoken, to no longer advertise in them. This is another way ads make products worse and obviously not an argument in their favor.
Advertising is communication and has no inherent usefulness; the value is in the outcome. The user isn't suffering, they're choosing a way to convert attention to currency as a way of paying for the content they want. It's a choice they willing make and having the option to transact that way is a net positive for both sides.
As I stated before, irrelevant ads are the #2 complaint by users.
That is clearly wrong as advertisers wouldn't knowingly pay for ads that have no effect.
Ads allow people to read what they want, when they want, for how much they want, regardless of publisher name or how much wealth they personally have.
Are they making the $40 per month per user that the WSJ gets?
There's also cycles. TV went through OTA to cable bundles to a-la-carte streaming and is now heading back to ads and bundles as people have reached their limit on payments. Music is in the bundle stage. New formats like podcasts are still in the early ad stage. Online publishers are at the peak of the direct payments stage and heading to news bundles next, which you mentioned yourself.
Regardless of the cycle, ads pay for the most and are almost always part of the deal because it's incredibly hard to sustain content production with rising costs at any price that consumers actually want to pay.
If there was an extension that you can install with 1-click that lets you order from Amazon.com for free, would people not use it? Does that suddenly mean that Amazon is no longer valid as a business?
These companies will either use technical countermeasures, or switch to different revenue models, or go out of business. But individual producers don't change the fact that most content is paid for by ads, powered by 2 of the biggest companies on the planet.
On the other hand, there is always the “1000 true fans” way of making money. Keep your expenses down and write content a few people are willing to pay for.
Ben Thompson over at Stratechery has well over 2000 subscribers the last time he gave out numbers, now its closer to 4000 probably. They pay him $100 a year for one article delivered 4 or 5 days a week including a free article.
John Grubsr over at Daring Firebsll is able to charge $6500 a week for a sponsorship- one article on the website and in the RSS feed at the beginning of the week and one thank you post at the end of the week.
No horrible privacy invasive ads, no ad networks, etc. It is basically an Apple centric blog he’s been building since 2002.
When Google killed Reader, he lost half of his readers but he was still able to charge his same rates. Advertisers were able to reach a desirable demographic.
Ads aren't working too well either with the increasing use of ad blockers -- even on mobile and Google and FB sucking all of the ad revenue up.