Last month, the New York Times announced that they would be acquiring popular word game Wordle.The company stated that they would be keeping the game free to play, but from a business perspective, that doesn’t really make sense because why would they spend so much money to acquire a game that they won’t be monetizing?
It turns out that maybe the company was hoping to leverage the data that the people playing the game would be submitting unknowingly. This is according to a tweet by Ben Adida who discovered that following the acquisition by the New York Times, the new Wordle’s website is stuffed with all kinds of trackers.
So no the NYT did not make Wordle harder or even change it all that much…. but can you imagine how hard it will be now if they had *any* plans to tweak it? Whew.
Separately, NYT didn't change the game, but they sure changed the deployment. Lots more tracking. pic.twitter.com/HbrkF5o0eh
— Ben Adida (@benadida) February 16, 2022
For those unfamiliar, trackers are a popular way for companies to track what you’re doing not just on their website, but subsequent websites and other web-related activities that you do after. The idea is that by being able to better understand your browsing habits, they’ll be able to serve up more relevant ads to you.
Over the years companies such as Apple have built protections that are designed to stop these trackers or limit them so that they cannot gather too much information about users once they leave the app or the website. That being said, the inclusion of these trackers doesn’t really take away the fun of the game, but it might be something that more privacy-conscious users may want to take note of.
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