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    Google Analytics pushes UA360 sunset date to July 2024

    The company said that the delay is being made in order to allow for a smoother transition to its new Google Analytics 4 system for its business clients. 

    Google Analytics – the tech giant’s website traffic and ad engagement measurement platform – announced today that it’s postponing the sunset date for its Universal Analytics 360 (UA360) platform from October 2023 to July 2024.

    Google Analytics 4, the system which will eventually replace both Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) and UA360, is designed to help businesses collect customer data across both web and mobile apps. It was was unveiled in October 2020.

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    In a blog post published this morning, Russel Ketchum, director of project management at Google Analytics, said that the delay in the sunset date is “to allow enterprise customers more time to have a smoother transition to Google Analytics 4” and that during the interim, the company would be “focusing [its] efforts and investments on Google Analytics 4 to deliver a solution built to adapt to a changing ecosystem.” 

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    Ketchum noted that GA360 “performance will likely degrade” until the new sunset date due to Google gradually shifting its focus to GA4. His blog post also includes a link to a “step-by-step guide” that businesses can use in order to set up GA4. 

    The company’s decision to transition away from its UA platforms largely stems from an awareness that the world is abandoning the use of third-party cookies. GA4 will use first-party data. 

    Ketchum’s Thursday blog post also stated that Google’s transition to GA4 will include the introduction of more sophisticated machine learning technology, as well as “custom channel grouping” (which will aggregate cross-channel performance measurements), both of which are intended to help businesses to more clearly visualize and analyze customer behavior. 

    How might the delay affect marketers? “The nine-month extension in GA4 migration can’t help but frustrate some Universal Analytics 360 marketing users,” says Eric Schmitt, senior director analyst at Gartner. “Marketing teams who took the deadline at face value and moved aggressively to make the GA4 transition now find their planning, budgeting and resource prioritization assumptions outdated. This is the latest in a pattern by Google of announcing important technical deadlines, and subsequently delaying them – as it has done with cookie deprecation.”

    Schmitt adds: “Practically speaking, many marketers can make good use of the time to give the GA4 transition the attention it deserves.”

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