Facebook to Circumvent Cross-Site Tracking Block with New First-Party Cookie

Facebook follows Google's and Microsoft's example and will implement a new first-party cookie to bypass the blocking measures put in place by Apple and Mozilla in their Safari and Firefox web browsers, according to a Marketing Land report.

The developers of both Safari and Firefox added automated blocking of cross-site tracking, with Apple introducing Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) to hinder advertisers from using third-party trackers to monitor users' while browsing the web,

Mozilla also decided to remove all cookies used by third-party trackers and completely disable their access to the browser's storage in an effort to respond to their users' frustration regarding ad retargeting.

First-party cookies are cookies created by websites on their visitors' computers for tracking their activity on the website and for enabling extra functionality such as enabling the users to use the website's store.

Following this ad targeting block across websites on both Firefox and Safari, Google introduced a first-party Google Analytics Cookie for AdWords in September 2017, effectively circumventing the cross-site tracking measures put in place by Apple while allowing advertisers to capture ad conversion and campaign data on Safari again.

In January 2018, Microsoft also reinstated cross-site tracking capabilities for advertisers using their Bing Ads platform by adding a Click ID auto-tagging option designed to help them gather accurate data regarding users' activity across the web.

Facebook's first-party cookie will allow advertisers to once again track users' activity across the web

Now it's Facebook's turn to help advertisers to capture cross-site web browsing data with the help of a first-party cookie option for the Facebook Pixel snippet of JavaScript code used by website owners to track their visitors' activity.

“We are offering a first-party cookie option for the Facebook pixel to help businesses continue understanding site activity and ad attribution across browsers,” said Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson.

Moreover, “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.”

According to Facebook, advertisers website owners will be able to edit their Facebook Pixel cookie settings via the Events Manager dashboard beginning with October 5, and they will be able to opt-out of the feature until October 24 when the new Facebook Pixel feature will be enabled by default.