Facebook to Follow Google and Microsoft, Releasing First-Party Cookie Option for Ads

By CHECKusMediaGroup October 19, 2018

Google and Microsoft have come up with a browser solution for third-party cookies blocking and Facebook can’t just stay behind. Therefore, its users may look forward to this new option for ads as well.

Facebook as one of the top ad sellers is prepared to launch solution for browsers and its users to get rid of annoying third-party cookies. This new first-party cookie option for advertisers, publishers, and developers should be able to measure and optimize Facebook ads while capturing analytics data from browsers.

As Joe Osborne, the spokeperson of Facebook stated:

“We are offering a first-party cookie option for the Facebook pixel to help businesses continue understanding site activity and ad attribution across browsers. This change is in line with updates made by other online platforms, as use of first-party cookies for ads and analytics is becoming the preferred approach by some browsers. The controls people have over ads will not change.”

Last year, Apple launched the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in Safari, so any third-party trackers are blocked, thus avoid browsing data for ad targeting to be captured. Mozilla reacted as well, announcing that its Firefox browser will soon limit cookies and block storage access from third-party trackers.

These measures will focus on ad targeting mainly. For the purpose of maintaining the analytics, Apple’s guidance informs the users that they should not rely on third party cookies, but they should adjust their web analytics on their own. Moreover, Apple suggested link decoration to maintain cross-site analytics and ad attribution.

Google was the first of the top global companies to introduce a solution in response to ITP with a first-party Google Analytics cookie in September 2017. Microsoft introduced the Bing Ads solution in January through auto-tagging of the first-party Microsoft Click ID to advertisers’ landing page URLs. Therefore, Facebook could not stay behind.

So what is this Facebook solution like?

Whenever users click on any Facebook-served ad, respective URL of landing page gets a unique string gets appended. When there are opt-in pixels on the site, such URL parameter is going to be written into the browser as a first-party cookie. These pixels will include then the first-party cookie with all events, received by Facebook.

If nay advertiser wants to stay with the third-party pixel, Facebook may do some modeling to estimate conversions from Safari, but the real procedure is not know yet. It should be similar to Google’s approach in relation to advertisers, not linked to AdWords accounts to Google Analytics. Here, statistical modeling is applied to estimate and report website conversions that can’t be captured from Safari.

Advertisers will get the choice to set first- or third-party cookies for the Facebook Pixel. Settings of the Facebook’s first-party cookie is located in the Settings tab in Events Manager at the pixel level. Advertiser can find there the pixel level for his decision whether he wants to use first-party cookies with Facebook.

Since October 5, business clients will finally be allowed to sign into Events Manager. There, they can edit their Facebook Pixel cookie settings. In the event they don’t want to use the first-party excel, they need to opt out by October 24. If not, such pixel will become the default one for new pixels. Nevertheless, the option to change it will stay with them all the time.

Such businesses will be obliged to inform the users how their cookies are used and collected data shared with third parties.

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