Facebook is making an important update to its tracking Pixel later this month that will offer businesses a first-party cookie option.
According to information provided by our Facebook agency representatives, this change will go into effect October 24th.
Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook’s update to first-party cookies for the Pixel.
“We are happy to see that Facebook is taking steps to ensure that advertisers have minimal disruption their retargeting and measurement efforts by shifting toward first-party cookies.”
-Nii A. Ahene, Chief Operating Officer – CPC Strategy
What Does It Mean For Advertisers?
The first-party cookie option for the Pixel is a workaround against “intelligent tracking prevention” software that blocks third-party cookies.
Some services and web browsers (like Safari) have moved to disable third-party cookie tracking, which can complicate advertisers’ ability to track and collect data around everything from user behavior to conversions.
Until now, the Facebook Pixel has been powered entirely by third-party cookies. Which is why a first-party cookie option for the Pixel should interest those advertising on the platform.
Google made a similar update with its Global Sitewide Tag late last month, which when installed, can preempt tracking prevention measures by Safari.
How Do I Install The First-party Cookie Pixel?
According to Facebook’s support page, using both first-party and third-party cookies will become the default option for all Facebook Pixels as of October 24th.
This default is recommended for advertisers because it enables you to “reach more customers on Facebook and to be more accurate in measurement and reporting.”
For those that wish to opt out of first-party cookies, they can do so by updating their Pixel settings in Event Manager.
What Are Cookies?
Cookies are simply text files used by websites and publishers to identify and recognize visitors.
They’re convenient for remembering your logins, shopping carts, settings, and more across the web.
They’re also incredibly important for advertisers when it comes to tracking website behavior, attribution, building audience data, and ad targeting.
Third-party vs. First-party cookies
A third-party cookie is created from a source other than the website owner (e.g., an advertisement or a video) that is embedded by a third-party.
Clicking on any content other than the website’s will likely install a third-party cookie. Many browser extensions and software today block third-party cookies because of privacy concerns.
A first-party cookie is put in place by the actual owner of the website domain.
It’s more likely that a user places trust in the actual domain owner rather than the many third-parties that can exist on a domain.
Most advertisers rely heavily on third-party cookies, which is why tracking prevention software can severely hamper their ability to collect accurate information.
This is why major platforms like Google, and now Facebook, are enabling a first-party cookie option to help publishers continue to gather accurate analytics.
For more information you can view Facebook’s official Pixel support page here.
Want to learn more about the Pixel and attribution tracking?
Facebook Ads Guide: Setup, Strategies And Tips From The Experts
How to Use the Facebook Pixel: A Complete Walkthrough
How to Install the New Global Sitewide Tag on Google, Shopify, and More