What Does FLoC Mean?

FLoC means "Federated Learning of Cohorts."

In March 2021, Google announced its intention to start testing "Federated Learning of Cohorts" (FLoC) in the second quarter of 2021. According to Google, FLoC will be a replacement for third-party cookies and will allow browsers to enable interest-based advertising.

FLoC will gather data about users' browsing habits and cluster groups of users with similar interests into cohorts. Amongst other factors, the algorithm used to develop cohorts will look at the URLs and contents of sites and pages that are visited by users in order to produce cohort profiles. These profiles will then be shared with advertisers.

FLOC will allow for individual user data to be kept locally, in the browser. The browser will only expose the cohort ID. Cohorts should include enough users to make it difficult to identify any particular individual within the group, whilst also being specific enough to enable effective ad targeting. Users will be assigned into new cohorts on a weekly basis, based on their previous week's browsing data.

According to Google, FLoC will increase user privacy, whilst still allowing advertisers to reach relevant audiences. Instead of targeting ads on an individual basis, they will be based on cohorts.

Summary of Key Points

"Federated Learning of Cohorts" is the most common definition for FLoC on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Federated Learning of Cohorts
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:

Example of FLoC Used in a Text


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