What is changing in the Facebook Pixel & why does it matter?
Last Friday, Facebook sent an email to advertisers and brands that announced it will be adding a ‘First party cookie option’ to its pixel on 24th October.
What has forced this change?
Apple, through their Safari browser, have basically declared war on third-party cookie tracking in an effort to stop pixels (such as Facebook’s) from being able to track and collect data on user behaviour. This was introduced through their Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) last year. Until now, the Facebook Pixel has operated purely on third-party cookies and with these updates, it will likely become a lot less effective.
How does the new first-party cookie work?
“When a user clicks on an ad on a Facebook platform the landing page URL will contain a unique string. If any pixels on the site a user lands on are opted into sharing first-party cookie data with Facebook, the URL parameter is written into the user’s browser as a first-party cookie. The advertisers opted in pixel(s) then includes the first-party cookie with all events it sends to Facebook.” – Facebook
Do I need to do anything?
No. This is an opt-out situation and the change will update automatically. If you would like to opt-out, this is available in the settings tab of events manager. It is important to note that both Google and Microsoft made changes to their own pixels which flew more under the radar!
In general, first-party cookies give the domain owner greater control over the data their site is collecting on users. This shows that Facebook is adapting to both the Apple Safari updates and GDPR.
Providing you remain opted in to the changes, you shouldn’t see any change to your campaign performance or tracking. In fact, you will likely see data become more accurate and robust through first-party cookies rather than their third-party counterparts.
Finally, in terms of GDPR, it is always useful to revisit your T&Cs with any significant change to pixels you have on your site.
To learn more about this update, visit the Facebook Help Center.