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Topics API (Android) and AdMob

What is the Topics API?

The Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to create technologies that both preserve people’s privacy online and give companies and developers the tools to build thriving digital businesses, which keeps the web and apps open and accessible to everyone. The Privacy Sandbox is an ongoing initiative that combines ideas from across the industry into new proposals that are tested, commented on, and iterated.

One of the Privacy Sandbox proposals being tested in Android is called Topics. As users opt out of third-party identifiers, advertisers need new ways of reaching customers with relevant ads: Topics proposes a new, privacy-preserving way of doing just that.

With the Topics API, a user's device would infer topics (such as "Air Travel," "Strategy Games," or "BBQ & Grilling") for a user based on the apps used on their device during a period of time known as an epoch, currently proposed to be one week. The topic selected for each epoch would be randomly selected from the user's top five topics for that time period.

How AdMob serves ads with the Topics API

When available, the GMA SDK will retrieve topics from the Topics API and pass those topics in bid requests. The Topics API will be automatically enabled for publishers on GMA SDK 22.4.0 or higher.

In Q4 2023, AdMob began initial testing for Topics globally on ad requests for a small percentage of traffic. This initial test is to validate that our systems are operating as designed.

Publisher controls for the Topics API

We're still working on the AdMob product plans and we welcome publisher feedback on the types of controls that would be helpful. In the meantime, publishers can choose to opt out of the Topics API.

Opting out of the Topics API

If you want to opt out of AdMob’s testing of Android's Topics API, see how to prevent the merging of permissions in Android's instructions.

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