There have been a lot of questions of late as to what exactly Facebook was asking when a notification was sent to Facebook admins to update their Pixel preferences prior to October 24. It relates to first party and third party cookies. So what is this anyway?
First Party and Third Party Cookies – Food For Thought?
Firstly to explain what a cookie is – this is a small piece of data created by a website that is stored in the user’s computer when the website is visited. This allows the website to recognise returning visitors and to remember information about you as you move from page to page.
The difference between first party and third party cookies comes down to the domain that created the cookie.
A first party cookie refers to a cookie created by the domain that a web user visits. This cookie is stored on the user’s computer under that domain’s name and helps the website remember information about their visitor. Particularly useful when it comes to recognising visitor preferences, pre-populating forms and allowing multiple purchases from the same site instead of the visitor having to enter their information over and over again.
A third party cookie on the other hand is created and stored on your computer by a domain that is not the principal domain that you visited and can track users across multiple domains.
Think of Facebook or Google. They use third party cookies to track users to a website regardless of where they come from. This helps from an advertising point of view in terms of being able to tailor ads to audiences, but needless to say, many people don’t take kindly to the use of these third party cookies, seeing them as being an infringement of their privacy, resulting in an increasing number of people manually blocking third party cookies.
So how does this affect Facebook Page admin users in terms of updating their pixel preference prior to 24 October?
Simply put, if you want to use the pixel for analytics only, then choose first party cookies.
If you wanting to use it for advertising and analytics, then you want to choose both first party and third party cookies.
Come the 24th October, the default setting will be both, which means that unless you change prior to this date, you will automatically be switched over to the advertising + analytic option.
The upside, is that if you want to continue using data for better targeting of your advertising then you will need to go with the default option – that is advertising + analytics.
To check your pixel preference you’ll find it in Facebook Business Manager under Business Manager Settings> Measure & Report > Events.
For more info about it https://www.facebook.com/business/help/471978536642445