Mozilla last week announced a new update on Firefox. In 2018, Firefox will have by default slow third-party tracking blocking and more controls for users a choice over the information they share with sites. Cross-site tracking will be blocked in January 2019.
Blocking slow third-party tracking
According to Mozilla, blocking slow third-party tracking will improve page load performance. A study from Ghostery, an ad blocking software, and cited by Mozilla, says that 55.4% of the total time required to load an average website was spent loading third-party trackers.
Mozilla will still test the impact of blocking third-party trackers; the ones that slow page loads. Mozilla is testing this feature using a shield study in September. If Mozilla finds the approach performs well, Firefox will start blocking slow-loading trackers by default in Firefox 63. The release of Firefox 63 is planned for October 23, 2017.
“Tracking slows down the web. Long page load times are detrimental to every user’s experience on the web. Most web browsers fail to help users get the level of privacy they expect and deserve.”Mozilla
Removing cross-site tracking
Firefox will strip cookies and block storage access from third-party tracking content. Mozilla is running a shield study to test the experience with some beta users in September. The release of cross-site tracking blocking will happen on Firefox 65, released on January 29, 2019.
How Firefox blocking can impact programmatic?
DSPs use cross-site tracking to set up retargeting, frequency cap and do attribution. Retargeting is when a user visits a page, and the advertiser can follow the user with ads and new messages. Frequency cap is when the advertiser wants to limit the number of ads a user will see (per hour, day, per week, etc.). Attribution exists, so the advertiser knows how much budget is spent, in general, to drive conversions or sales. Cross-site tracking also allows an advertiser not to target users with ads, when they made buy something. In other words, cross-site tracking enables advertisers to be more intelligent when it comes to marketing and users to get personalized ads.
Firefox usage is declining
Firefox usage is decreasing. From 30% in 2010, Firefox has now a market share of less than 6%. It’s better on Desktop where the market share is still around 10%. According to data from Statcounter, Chrome has a market share of almost 70%.
How Google and Bing reacted in the past?
Although Safari in the past implemented similar tracking preventions to strip cookies and third-party tracking, Google, and Bing, already found a way to beat the cross-site tracking, via first-party cookies and user ids.