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What’s Up With the Latest Facebook Pixel Update?

If you use Facebook for advertising purposes, you should’ve received an email earlier this week about a Pixel update. It seems that change is afoot, as Facebook seeks to comply with current regulations while offering more options for its advertisers. But what’s changing? Do you need to do anything about it?

Cookie Monster

Previously, the Facebook pixel used third-party cookies to serve adverts to a relevant audience. Third-party cookies are cookies placed onto a website via a domain that you're not currently on. In this case, Facebook would use these cookies to monitor your behaviour on the internet. You might use the ‘Login with Facebook’ feature on a website, which would be a sign of your interest in that service. Once they’ve painted a picture of your interests, they’d use this data for advertising, providing accurate analytics, targeting and measurement services for more than 3 million advertisers.

Recent changes have facebook spooked, as increasing data regulation and limitations to third-party cookie monitoring by browsers threatened to change the advertising landscape. This update is a direct response to these restrictions, but what does it mean for you?

Now it’s a Party

Or more specifically, your first party, as the Facebook Pixel will create first-party cookies as of 24/10/2018. These are cookies that are created by the site that you’re on, or in an advertisers case, the site that they own. Having the first-party cookie allows Facebook to bypass the aforementioned regulations regarding third-party cookies, keeping their analytics and measurement data accurate, and keeping advertisers happy.

From the 24th, new pixels will automatically use first-party cookies, unless they are disabled by the user. We’d advise using the first-party option, although it does depend on the industry that you're in. The medicinal and financial industries are particularly restrictive.

To-Do List

You need to look at your business, your customers, and your regulatory requirements to see if using first-party cookies is acceptable. For a typical business, they should be, but it’s always best to look at your industry, especially in light of the recent GDPR regulation.

We’d advise updating your privacy policy to reflect the changes. The Facebook Business Tools Terms state that you should clearly disclose to your website visitors how you use cookies and how you share data collected on your website. You should also let your visitors know that they can change their Facebook advertising settings at any time.

If this Pixel update puts your business in a pickle, or if you need help with Facebook advertising, give our friendly team a call. We offer Facebook marketing services, as well as PPC, SEO and CRO packages too.

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