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Third Party Cookies

A third-party cookie is a type of cookie set by a domain other than the one the user is currently visiting, often used for tracking and online advertising purposes.

Third-party cookies are created when a website incorporates elements from external domains, such as ads or widgets, that place cookies on a user’s device through the browser. Unlike first-party cookies, which are set directly by the site being visited to store preferences and session information, third-party cookies are used primarily by advertising networks to track a user’s browsing history across multiple websites.

This tracking enables advertisers to deliver targeted ads that are more relevant to the individual’s interests and behaviours. However, due to privacy concerns and changing regulations, the use of third-party cookies is facing increased scrutiny, leading to significant changes in how user data is collected and used across the web.

AbbreviationMeaningUsing byYear coined
3PCThird party cookieAdvertisers/Analysts1994

Example 1:

While browsing a sports news website, a user sees advertisements for running shoes. These ads are served by an advertising network that has placed third-party cookies on the user’s device while they were visiting various other websites related to running and fitness. The advertising network uses the information collected by these cookies to understand the user’s interests and serve targeted ads related to those interests across different websites, enhancing the relevance of the ads the user sees.

Example 2:

A blog post about healthy recipes includes social media sharing buttons from platforms like Facebook and Twitter. When a user visits the blog, these buttons can set third-party cookies on the user’s device. Even if the user does not click the buttons, the cookies can track the user’s visit to the blog as part of their wider online activity. This data can then be used by social media platforms to tailor the content and advertisements the user sees on their feeds, based on their browsing history outside of the social media site itself.

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Matt McAuliffe

Matt McAuliffe

Co-Founder of Hyper Digital

As the co-founder of Hyper Digital, a leading digital marketing agency in New Zealand, Matt McAuliffe has established himself as a prominent digital marketing analyst and consultant. With years experience and thorough knowledge of the digital marketing industry, Matt is the driving force behind Hyper Digital’s ongoing success. Matt’s innovative marketing tactics and creative concepts is the reason why so many businesses across New Zealand have achieve success in the online space.

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