What is the difference between first and third party cookies?

Cookies identify online users and have become a mainstay of digital advertising. As web servers have no memory of their own, cookies are used to make websites remember the user’s action, so they aren’t asked to perform a task again and again. As a result, they help provide a better, more personalized user experience.

And while most marketers know this broad definition, getting into the weeds regarding the different types of cookies and how they differ from one another can be trickier. However, with the current trend of third-party cookie deprecation, it’s never been more important for marketers to gain a more nuanced understanding.

In the name of building a “more private web,” Google recently announced that it plans to eliminate third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022. This announcement follows other cookie deprecation shifts by other major browsers from as far back as 2017—all of which mean a big shift for advertisers reliant on third-party cookies.

So, what are third-party cookies? And how are they different from the other types of cookies, namely first-party cookies? Read on to find out.

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You’ve heard it a million times—"the modern marketing landscape is in the middle of a major change"—which is inherently true. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed marketers to completely rethink the way they communicate with customers, and the deprecation of third-party cookies coupled with increasing privacy restrictions by the likes of Apple and Google have made it even more difficult to have that dialogue with customers digitally.

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