Facebook is adding first-party cookies, contributing to the foreseeable death of third-party cookies.
“On October 24, Facebook will begin offering businesses a first-party cookie option with the Facebook pixel. This change is in line with updates made by other online platforms, as use of first-party cookies for ads and site analytics is becoming the preferred approach by some browsers,” Facebook stated in an email sent to advertisers earlier this month.
To generalize, cookies are data files created by website domains that contain anonymized information about website visitors. The main difference between the two types being which domain creates the cookie. The new first-party cookies will be created from the website domain the pixel is hosted on and the website will have full-control over the data and its usage.
The change is in line with moves Google and Microsoft recently made in response to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) system launched last year that took aim at third-party cookies.
“Businesses have long relied on cookies to serve ads to relevant audiences and understand visits to their sites. Up until now, Facebook has used its pixel — powered by third-party cookies — for website analytics, ad targeting, and ad measurement. This new option will also help advertisers, publishers, and developers continue to get accurate analytics about traffic to their websites,” says Facebook.
Most Facebook advertisers won’t need to do anything with this change except for those in highly regulated industries like medical and financial. When first-party cookies go live on October 24, it will happen automatically for any advertisers currently using the Facebook Pixel and will be selected as the default for any new Facebook Pixels created afterwards. Until then, advertisers can opt-out by going to their “Events Manager” and choose to turn off first-party cookies in their “Pixel and Cookie Settings.”
Third-party cookies, your days are numbered but you had a good run.