What the Facebook Pixel Cookies update means for advertisers
Facebook has announced that from 24th October, they will enable advertisers to use custom first-party cookies with the Facebook Pixel. Up until now, this has been powered by third-party cookies.
"The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you put on your website to collect data on your visitors. This data is then used to track your website’s analytics, as well as target adverts and measure their success." - Solid Start Property Inspections
As CPC Strategy explains in their article on the Pixel update, cookies are very important for advertisers “when it comes to tracking website behaviour, attribution, building audience data, and ad targeting.”
Up until this month, the Facebook Pixel has been powered by third-party cookies. A third-party cookie is created by an external source (such as an advertisement) and as its name suggests, this is embedded into your website by a third-party.
The issue with third-party cookies is that due to the roll-out of the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), Facebook has lost access to some of the third-parties that provided it with data. This led to some the platform’s ad targeting options being removed. Many web browsers are also taking steps to block third-party cookies, with a prime example being Apple’s Safari.
Earlier in the year, Apple introduced new anti-tracking features to their Safari browser, which blocked third-party cookies. This is a move that will soon be followed by Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
To counteract this issue, the Facebook Pixel will now be powered by first-party cookies. These are put in place by the actual owner of the website, unlike third-party cookies. This will ensure advertisers are still able to collect data from and targeting users of Apple, Mozilla, and any other browsers that decide make the move to block third-party cookies.
The TJM take: As we’ve already outlined, the obvious reasoning behind Facebook’s switch from third-party cookies to first-party cookies is that it will counteract the fact that more and more browsers are blocking third-party cookie tracking, and preventing users’ data from being collected. This is obviously great news for advertisers who use this data in their ad targeting.
However, it will also allow for more accurate data collection. This is because people are more likely to be trusting of first-party cookies implemented by the website they’re actually visiting, so they tend to have a lower rejection rate.
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