First off, who would like a cookie? A cookie is a small data file placed on your computer by a website you visit. A “third-party cookie” of “first-party cookie” refers to who is putting the cookie onto your computer. For example: If you visit NFL.com (to watch the Patriots win the Superbowl, obviously) and NFL.com stores a cookie onto your computer, that is a “first-party cookie”. If you visit NFL.com and the cookie that is placed looks like (analytics-for-free.com) that signals it is a third-party cookie.
So, why the switch? Well, a lot of browsers now have “third-party cookie” blockers. Google Chrome, Safari, and many other browsers allow you to install an add-on that blocks all third-part cookies. Third-party cookies are the ones we all have to thank for our targeted ads. When we search up Deadpool socks, and then all of your ads for the next month are comic book related, you have a third-party cookie to thank for that.
What makes a “first-party cookie any better? First-party cookies are necessary in order for the internet world to recognize you as being… well… you! Anytime you are required to log in (Amazon.ca, google.ca, Netflix.com etc.) a First-party cookie is then placed onto your device so it can recognize you as a person. (Autofill of your email, for example. First-party cookies are REQUIRED in order for an individual to use a log in).
So now, Facebook has released a first-party cookie OPTION in order to measure and capture analytics (even through browsers with the third-party cookie blocker). Let’s make this easy, cookie now means pixel (Facebook Pixel). A first-party cookie will allow your Facebook Pixel to collect and store information for you to use in your advertising campaigns, without being blocked by a browser add-on. If you choose to opt-out and remain a third-party pixel, Facebook “may” attempt some pixel reconfiguration in order to battle with the “cookie blockers”, but that isn’t confirmed. Basically, your pixel analytics will still deliver information, you just miss out collecting information from ANYONE who has a browser with a cookie blocker.
Facebook did indeed, take the cookie from the cookie jar, and your analytics will thank you.