What Updates Have Been Made to the Facebook Pixel?
In a continued effort to protect the privacy and advertising experience of its users, the social media giant has made some changes to the way the Facebook pixel tracks user data. Now pixel owners have the option to opt into using (in addition to 3rd party cookies) 1st party cookies. Cookies are small pieces of code stored in Internet browsers that are typically used to distinguish between website visitors, giving advertisers more control over who and where they want their ads to be shown. The difference between 1st and 3rd party cookies comes down to who actually owns the cookie. 1st party cookies are owned by the website a user is currently viewing (i.e. your website), while 3rd party cookies are owned by websites a user is not on (i.e. a Facebook like button on your website). The like button sets a cookie that can be read by Facebook, even though the user isn’t engaging with the network at that time.
How Does Using Both Cookie Types Benefit Facebook Advertisers?
The original Facebook pixel was used to only track 3rd party cookies, essentially limiting the reach, effectiveness, and qualified ads being served on the Facebook Advertising network. However, you may opt out of 1st party cookies (not recommended) while now the default setting for all pixels is to use both. In addition to more effectively reaching, targeting, and retargeting prospective leads, the default option also provides advertisers with more robust measurements and reporting.
What Do You Need to Do Next?
Nothing! The default option was automatically applied to your pixel on October 24th. There is no negative side effect to this change, it is actually more helpful than previous pixel capabilities. This change will help collect more qualified traffic and provide more robust data and analysis for future campaigns. If you would like to opt out of using 1st party cookies (we recommend not) on your pixel, please reach out to your account manager.