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Wordle tracks you more now that The New York Times owns it

Business Insider US
Viral word-game Wordle. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
Viral word-game Wordle. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
  • Wordle has added trackers to its webpage since it was bought by The New York Times, Gizmodo reported.
  • Some of the trackers belong to The Times, while others send data to third parties, including Google.
  • The New York Times bought Wordle last month after it became a viral success.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Viral word game Wordle is tracking its players much more heavily now that it's owned by The New York Times, Gizmodo reports.

Some Twitter users said they had looked at Wordle's ad-tracking and found The Times had added trackers. Gizmodo verified this, finding some of the trackers were from The New York Times, while others were used to send data to third parties, including Google.

Insider also found adtech, including adtrackers operated by Google, on the Wordle page.

The New York Times did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside of normal working hours. 

Ad-tracking is a big part of how digital publications — including Insider — make money. Trackers can be used to follow users across various websites and then target them with advertising.

The New York Times bought Wordle in January for a price in the "low seven figures," meaning it spent at least $1 million (R15 million) on the rights to the viral game.

It was originally created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, who said he'd built the game as something for himself and his partner to play.

After The Times bought the game some players complained it had become more difficult, although the paper denied it had made any changes to Wordle's gameplay.


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