NICKLpass: Navigating a cookie-less future


In the last few years, Google has been gearing up to do away with third party cookies for good. This may not mean much to you at first glance, but it has implications for users, publishers and digital advertisers; it will inevitably change a lot about how the internet functions.

As it stands now, Google has pushed back the date that it will officially do away with third party cookies to 2024. While this gives us all a bit more time to prepare, it does not stop the inevitable. This new reality of an internet devoid of third party cookies is one that publishers and advertisers must prepare for. Luckily, NICKLpass can help publishers, advertisers and users prepare.

To explore the implications of this switch, it will help to get a more well-rounded understanding of what cookies are and what different types of cookies do. Then we will shift our focus to third party cookies, going into detail about why they are being abandoned. This will help inform our discussion about how this will change digital marketing for publishers and, in turn, affect our user experiences online. Finally, we will make it clear that NICKLpass provides a solution for advertisers, publishers and users in this new, cookie-less age.

What are cookies?

In the simplest terms, cookies are files that track and observe your behavior as you browse the internet. Has your browser ever remembered your username and password for a website you regularly visit or kept an item in your shopping cart even after you’ve left a site? Those are cookies at work.

When you visit a webpage, there are little bits of personal data that your browser can pick up and remember to make your internet browsing experience more seamless the next time you visit that particular page. Websites can use these cookies to keep you signed in, remember your site preferences, and help show you content that is relevant to you.

There are two types of cookies that your browser uses to collect data from you. The first are known as first party cookies, and the second, third party cookies. They have similar functions, but are often used for vastly different purposes.

First party cookies

First party cookies are files that are placed on a website by the owner of the page, hence the distinction of “first party.” This type of cookie is mostly functional, helping the owner of the site to provide a good user experience to the person visiting the website.

First party cookies help a website remember your language preferences, login details, general preferences and settings, streamlining your browsing experience. They also help the site remember items you put in your cart, for example, so that the next time you visit, it will still show up there. Small conveniences like these make first party cookies generally harmless and useful to both users and site owners.

Third party cookies

Third party cookies, also known as tracking or targeting cookies, are placed on a website by someone other than the owner, like advertisers, marketers or social media platforms. This is where they get their “third party” distinction. These third parties are less concerned with providing a seamless user experience and, instead, collect the cookies left behind by the user to create data points, tracking information like age, gender and general interests. In essence, the third party is able to understand the user’s likes and dislikes based on their browsing data. With this information, advertisers and marketers can target ads at specific users, providing advertisements that are more relevant to users.

Where first party cookies only exist on a closed circuit of a single website, third party cookies can be used to track you across many different web pages. That is precisely what makes them so useful to marketers and advertisers – as you jump across different websites, the advertisers can read your cookies and feed you advertisements that you will be more likely to interact with.

Because these cookies are so useful to marketers, the data they hold becomes a huge source of potential income for publishers like news resources. Publishers generally monetize their content by selling targeted ads using the data cookies help them collect.

The problem with cookies

One of the biggest critiques of third party cookies is that they often collect user’s data without their consent. Because this sensitive data is being stored by a third party, it holds the potential to cause serious data security risks for users that could compromise their secure information. Many believe the use of third party cookies infringes on user privacy rights, allowing their data to be used and traded in unsafe conditions with bad intentions.

In recent years, legislation has been put forth in California and across the EU to help protect consumer data specifically by targeting the use of third party cookies on websites. This is changing how marketers and advertisers manage, trade and use personal data.

What happens when third party cookies disappear?

The growing awareness of the privacy and data security issues associated with third party cookies have changed the behavior of users, browsers and publishers already. In order to protect their data, many users install ad blockers to their browsers to shield their data from third party sources, preventing marketers from collecting and using cookies. In some cases, browsers have begun blocking third party cookies by default.

In response, publishers have begun seeking out new ways to monetize their content. Before the privacy issues of third party cookies, some publishers could get away with free-to-access content for users. They were able to make money by selling the user data that they collected to advertisers, making a profit. Without the ability to sell user data to third party sources, publishers are expected to transition to more paywalled and subscription-based options to access content.

For users, this means more logins and passwords to manage, not to mention an increasing strain on your budget in order to keep up with all of the subscriptions necessary to stay well-informed.

NICKLpass with a solution

With more publishers turning towards subscription-based models to make money as third party cookies get phased out, more and more news sources will be locked behind a paywall.

When users sign up with NICKLpass, they consolidate all of their subscriptions under one login and one password. This makes paid news subscriptions much easier to manage for everyone. Additionally, when companies sign their employees up for NICKLpass, they save, on average, 10% on their total subscription spending for the year. The ease of a single login and the prospect of saving money make NICKLpass a logical solution for many users.

For publishers, NICKLpass provides a solution to their demonetization as well. With so many users already signed up with a NICKLpass and many more to come, NICKLpass provides publishers with a consistent source of revenue by maintaining the subscriptions of thousands of users. As more users are connected with NICKLpass, the content on publishers’ websites are better distributed and have larger reach without having to rely solely on advertisements from third parties for revenue and reach.

In summary

Third party cookies are soon going to be things of the past. As publishers and advertisers prepare for the transition away from them, the landscape of free and paid content on the internet will inevitably change. NICKLpass offers a simple and cost-effective solution that can help companies, publishers and users stay informed.