Last month, Wordle, the oasis of calm in a shitty year, was bought by The New York Times. Now, the new corporate overlords for Wordle have stuffed the website full of ad trackers.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The only thing that you should be surprised about is that Wordle in its original form didn’t have a single ad tracker on it. None. It was a labor of love for developer Josh Wardle, so he didn’t add any tracking software to the site.
Now owned by the Times, for a low seven-figure sum, it’s only natural for the new owner to want a return on its investment. They’ve committed to keeping it free to play (for now), so the only way to make cash is by selling data to third-party advertisers.
And you know what? We can’t really say anything about that. Almost every online media outlet or independent blog has some form of ad tracking on it. Even with subscription models, it’s part of how we all keep our businesses going.
Why shouldn’t the NYT gain in advertising revenue, from its newly-acquired and popular-as-hell new puzzle? I’m not saying you shouldn’t worry about your online privacy. Thankfully, iOS now limits tracking, and Android is in the process of implementing a similar system.
Ad trackers are here to stay, even on your beloved Wordle. That’s not the only change The Times has made, as it has been trimming words from the solutions list that it deems obscure, insensitive, or offensive.
For those people still playing, be glad it’s not behind the NYT paywall (yet).
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