In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead requires leveraging every tool at your disposal. Among these tools are social pixels, an essential component in today's world of online advertising. We’re going to take a look at what social pixels are, why they can support your campaigns, and how they can help us navigate the upcoming changes to Chrome and the removal of third-party cookies.

What are social pixels?

Social pixels, also known as tracking pixels or conversion pixels, are snippets of code placed on a website to track users' interactions. These pixels allow marketers to gather valuable data on user behaviour, such as page views, clicks, and conversions. Popular platforms like Facebook, X, LinkedIn, and TikTok offer their own pixel solutions, each tailored to the platform and available metrics.

Why should we be relying on them?

The power of social pixels lies in their ability to provide granular insights into user actions. By tracking user behaviour across various touchpoints, we can better understand audience preferences, interests, and purchasing intent. This data can help direct our targeted advertising campaigns, we can deliver personalised messages to the right audience at the right time. Furthermore, social pixels can help us accurately attribute results, allowing us to measure the effectiveness of campaigns.

How can pixels support activity with upcoming changes from Google?

Browsers like Brave, Firefox, and Safari have already blocked retargeting cookies. In 2024, Google will also stop serving third-party cookies through its Chrome browser. These changes have been coming for a while and it’s just another shift that we need to adapt to.

Social pixels offer a lifeline in this shifting landscape by providing alternative data sources for targeting and measurement. With the deprecation of third-party cookies and increased privacy regulations, social platforms' first-party data becomes invaluable for effective advertising. Many social platforms have been preparing for these changes as they gradually started spreading across the internet.

For example, Facebook’s Pixel has already switched its default option to first-party cookies. The cookie looks like it’s coming from the site displaying the ad, while in fact it sends data back to Facebook and, as such, performs functions typical of third-party cookies.

A diagram explaining how Facebook's pixel tech works
Source: https://clearcode.cc/blog/facebook-first-party-cookie-adtech/

By understanding what social pixels are, how they work, and ensuring they’re set up correctly, we can maintain successful campaign performance and identify new opportunities despite these cookie changes. Log into your platforms, review their support documents, and check the settings to make sure you’re prepared for the changes.

Also, we must remember that people need to agree to share their data on social media and other websites. Respecting this trust by using their data responsibly not only protects their privacy, but also makes their social media experience better with ads that actually interest them.

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Katie Smith

Senior Social Media and Content Manager