New York Times removes Facebook pixel

1 min read

Georgia Iacovou

20 Nov 2019

They’d rather make money from subscriptions, instead of paying for tracking technology

A bold move from the New York Times: they are going to stop using tracking pixels from Facebook and Twitter, and use their own marketing tool instead.

☝️ How this new marketing tool works: instead of tracking users all over their site, they will look at how well certain articles perform:

Actually, this kind of advertising sounds pretty standard, and — even though it uses technology to be efficient — seems far less intrusive. It’s a basic recommendation model that powers that famous phrase: “you may also like…”. But with one bonus feature: no tracking.

What this actually means for the New York times

They save money that they would otherwise spend on tracking technologies — tracking users is expensive, and arguably not that fruitful. The times even stopped using ad exchanges for their European pages after the GDPR came into effect, and still made money.

They will also greatly lessen their participation in behavioural targeting, a method used all over the internet to understand how people behave, so that advertisers can guess (or even change) what they might do next. This kind of digital advertising is used on a mass scale, and many argue it takes away our autonomy.

Ultimately, this is a great thing ✨The New York Times are clearly positioning themselves as an organisation who think about data privacy in a meaningful way — these are concrete steps towards breaking the ugly cycle of the seemingly perpetual tracking of users online.

the author

Georgia Iacovou

Content Writer, Metomic