Facebook First Party Pixel:  Keeps Your Ad Targeting Hitting The Bullseye

As a freelance digital marketer, things can change on a day to day basis.  Which is why you must always have your finger on the pulse of tech updates, cutting edge resources and policy adjustments with a wide variety of companies and their websites.

The latest news coming out of Facebook regarding their brand new first-party cookie option for ad tracking is one of the most crucial.

If you’ve been a faithful reader here on the AWOL blog, you know that we recently just reported the not-so-great news in regards to Safari and Firefox browsers looking to block your trusty Facebook pixels.  (You can catch up on that news if you missed it by reading here: https://awolacademy.com/blog/facebook-pixel-changes/)

And of course without you being able to track appropriate stats (especially conversions) through your Facebook pixel for Safari and Firefox users… your ability to run effective paid marketing was gonna take a hit.


But have no fear true believer, Facebook is already on the move with hyper-speed adjustments when it comes to maneuvering around these latest browser changes.  Here’s what they have in store.


Welcome to the Party (First Party Pixel That is)

The main reason for the backlash from Apple’s Safari browser and Mozilla’s Firefox was Facebook’s previous reliance on third-party cookies that provided ad targeting and a variety of cross-site browsing data.

As a result of the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal regarding the mishandling of various third-party data, Facebook continues to make aggressive adjustments to serve both their massive user base as well as the businesses who leverage their paid marketing platform.

It is through Facebook creating it’s own first-party cookies that they are looking to re-establish rock solid trust with their users as well as still provide accurate ad targeting, website analytics and ad measurements in order to maximize results for those who engage in their paid ad platform.

How Will This Work For You?

For the most part, the same reliable process you’ve been using with your paid ads in the past will still apply, only with a new tool.  This excerpt from a recent article on Marketingland.com breaks it down into it’s basics.

“When a user clicks on a Facebook-served ad, a unique string gets appended to the landing page URL. When there are pixels on the site that are opted- in to share first-party cookie data with Facebook, that URL parameter will get written into the user’s browser as a first-party cookie. The pixels then include the first-party cookie with all events it sends to Facebook.”   Ginny Marvin

This way your Facebook first-party cookies can still provide you with accurate ad targeting data and tracking etc. even from users who are browsing with Safari and Firefox.  

So thanks to the new Facebook first-party cookies… you can sidestep potential paid marketing hassles no matter what browser your user is viewing your ads on.

Where Do You Update Your Facebook Settings?

As of right now, you are able to to adjust whether you wish to use the new first-party cookies or still rely on third-party settings.  In order to make any adjustments, simply follow the next few steps.

  • Go to the Settings tab in your Events Manager at the pixel level.
  • You will see it under the Ads Manager section called Measure and Report.
  • Once there, you will be able to change your setting at your pixel level to first-party or third-party.

And that’s it… you’ll be all set with the new Facebook first-party pixel.  As of now you have until October 24th to make your adjustments. After the 24th, the first-party option will be the default inside of your Facebook account.  Although you will be able to make any adjustments as you wish moving forward.

As always, you’ll want to continue to make certain you reveal to your users how your own business leverages cookies and how you share any of that collected data with any type of third-parties.  Your priority should always be to keep everything you do with your business completely above-board and share with your audience with complete transparency.

This way no matter what next pixel pitfall shows up in your path, you’ll always be one step ahead… allowing you to continue to build your own freelance digital marketing empire for years to come.

Jason is a key member of the marketing team here at AWOL.  He brings a wide range of skills sets to the table such as copywriting, content and email marketing.  When he’s not helping to crank out the latest marketing campaigns, he is addicted to spreading an attitude of gratitude through inspirational speaking, collecting fedoras and anything Bruce Lee… Waka!

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