What is Topics API?
Topics API is a privacy-focused advertising solution developed by Google as part of its Privacy Sandbox on Android initiative. It enables interest-based advertising (IBA) without resorting to tracking the various sites a user may visit. Topics API is designed to replace third-party cookies and allow interest-based advertising while prioritizing user privacy and control.
Topics API assigns human-readable topic names to users based on their mobile history, allowing advertisers to serve more relevant ads without compromising personal data. It is a Privacy Sandbox mechanism designed to preserve privacy while allowing a browser to share information about a user’s interests with third parties.
IBA is an essential concept in Topics API. It is a type of personalized advertising where a particular ad is displayed to an individual user depending upon their interests. The selection and display of the ad are, in turn, inferred from the various sites that the user has recently browsed. Such advertising is different from the concept of contextual advertising, wherein ads are matched to the actual content on the webpage that the user is currently browsing.
Attribution in an era of privacy
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What is the general usage of Topics API?
Topics API works by mapping apps to specific topics based on a curated taxonomy. Initially, humans map apps to topics, and Google uses this data to create a machine-learning model that automates the process. Apps are categorized at a high level to ensure privacy and avoid sharing sensitive information.
On the web Google uses Chrome to calculate and store the top five topics for each user every week. This calculation is based on the number of visits to each domain using browsing history. Each page view counts as a visit, but only the domain portion of the URL is used for the topic assignment. Chrome does not leverage browsing history stored in the cloud, ensuring topics can vary across different devices.
On mobile, the process is similar.
With the help of Topics API, Privacy Sandbox observes and then keeps a record of topics that seem of particular interest to the user due. This information is recorded on the user’s device, not transmitted to Google or other adtech vendors. The Topics API can then allow API callers (like an adtech platform) access to the topics that are of interest to the user. However, extra information about the user’s browsing activity is not revealed to the API caller, thus safeguarding user privacy better than other user-tracking mechanisms like third-party cookies.
The Topics API allows ad platforms to access the topics assigned to a user and use them to decide which ads to display. Ad platforms can call a function to retrieve stored topics: up to three topics in random order, one from each of the three preceding weeks. Privacy Sandbox stores a set of the top five topics each week, plus a sixth random topic to ensure a minimum number of members for each topic.
Singular and Topics API
As a leading marketing analytics platform, Singular leverages privacy-focused industry frameworks to enable marketing measurement even with IDFA or GAID is no longer available.
On Android, Singular will integrate with Topics API to enhance its advertising attribution and measurement capabilities. By incorporating the Topics API into its platform, Singular can provide its clients with more accurate and relevant insights into user behavior and interests.
As Google rolls out Privacy Sandbox on Android, Singular will be able to attribute conversions and user actions to ads and campaigns, helping advertisers optimize their campaigns and deliver more personalized and effective advertising experiences.
Furthermore, Singular’s integration with the Topics API will enable advertisers to leverage interest-based targeting and understand the topics that resonate with their target audience. Advertisers will be able to tailor their messaging and creative assets in a way that is in alignment with user interests. Such a high level of personalization can significantly improve ad performance and drive higher engagement and conversion rates. Singular will also align Privacy Sandbox and Topics API with its ad fraud suite, helping to address the challenge of ad fraud and click spamming.
Topics API is a powerful tool that enables interest-based advertising while prioritizing user privacy and control. Singular utilizes the Topics API to enhance its advertising attribution and measurement capabilities, providing advertisers with valuable insights into user behavior and interests. By leveraging the Topics API, Singular empowers advertisers to deliver more personalized and effective advertising experiences, ultimately driving better campaign performance and results.