Facebook’s new first party cookie

Facebook’s launches new first party cookie – what does it mean for businesses?

It is a fact of life that the internet can used for tracking what we do.

We rarely talk about it as we have either come to accept it, or been told it is to our benefit! Who knew you would be grateful to be presented with adverts you have “chosen” to see?

It is a multi-million pound business as targeted advertising is still the easiest way to make the internet work for many businesses, especially those that haven’t yet got their heads around investing in their website and the strategy of inbound marketing for organic growth. On-line advertising offers a quick and easy, if sometimes costly, win for many.

So, what is wrong with all this tracking?

From a marketing perspective, professional marketers are trying to tread an ethical line that is getting greyer and greyer by the minute. Third party tracking cookies, track your movement. They are placed on your hard drive by a website from a domain other than the one you are visiting. They are typically used to store browsing history and personalisation preferences. These cookies are often set by advertising networks, that a site may subscribe
to, in order to drive up traffic. Blocking third party cookies increases user privacy but this creates a problem for consumer tracking and ad serving firms, which place those adverts that seem to haunt you from site to site!

Last year some of the browsers blocked many 3rd party cookies by default; Firefox and Safari were amongst them. Apple have taken it further again with “Intelligent Tracking Protection”, ITP waits 24hrs before purging any cookies (lacking login information) from your browser.
Apple are now introducing ITP 2.0 and withdrawing even the 24 hour leeway going forward.

Will this be a good thing for users, and marketing data?

This is the question we are asking ourselves, as we are not sure it will actually achieve anything really meaningful because, as you would expect, the big boys are taking up the challenge. Unless it is one of the big providers like Google or Facebook setting the rules there will always be a fight!
In response to this Facebook will be rolling out 1st-party cookies from October 2018. This
move will allow their advertisers to track their data without the current support required through 3rd party cookies.

Great you may think!

We are less certain.

In a few weeks your advert responses on Facebook are very likely to look pretty impressive compared to any of your other on-line adverts, because they can be tracked. It is so easy to get excited and think you are having great results because of the figures forgetting the needed conversions! And, Facebook will be sending those lovely automated notifications telling you just how great they are….and encouraging you to spend just a bit more on extending your reach for just another week!

Facebook’s track record…

And let’s not forget Facebook’s track record with their insight data. Firstly, at White Knight we have lost track of how many times Facebook have issued notifications when they have been outed in makingmistakes” that, miraculously seem to inflate response figures. Then let’s look at just how reliable some of the insights are… did you know that if you upload a video that self plays very alluringly, as soon as the self-play is triggered, you have 3 seconds, YES THREE seconds to stop it and or it is recorded as a full play on your analytics!

So, if there is no third party returning the stats does that mean that we are happy to leave Facebook to mark its own homework? We are not saying that 3rd Party cookies are the answer, but we certainly don’t think 1st party cookies will help anyone but the big players like the search Engines, Browsers & Social media as they control all the data we get in future.