I saw the launch of Disconnect, a Chrome Browser extension that keeps your web browsing anonymous so I thought I’d give it a go for a couple of weeks.
In short Disconnect blocks the many tracking cookies that let advertisers target ads based on your behaviour, i.e. search for a barber on google and then you find more ads targeting you around barber. Or shop online at a store for shoes and suddenly find yourself being targeted by ads from that advertiser.
And now it’s not full on study or experiment just my first hand experiment of what I’ve found.
What I noticed is that ads blended back into the background. For the fair part I stopped paying attention whereas when I wasn’t using it I would notice these personalised ads a lot more.
I think for advertisers, it shows that ad targeting does work when it has real utility & value through personalisation. For consumers, there is an upside to tracking, websites for the most part need ads to survive and more personalised ads are a friendlier way of monetising.
It’s still early days yet people are still figuring it out and its quite fragmented but I think it’s about to go through a period of consolidation and thus less confusion for customers.