Each month, our team of social experts dig through the trenches of the internet to find the biggest, best and most important news coming out of the social platforms we and our clients use daily.
For years, third-party cookies have been the cornerstone for tracking the efficacy of ads on social media platforms, but, with the latest browser tracker blocking, Apple’s privacy updates, and an increase in apprehension of third-party cookies, advertisers are forced to look elsewhere to track conversions. This special report is a download on what you need to know about these updates and what is to come.
Here’s What You Need to Know
User privacy has been an increasingly hot topic in the marketing world in recent months. Back in April, Apple released its big software update allowing users to block apps from tracking their behaviors. This update and others (like Google’s pending removal of third-party cookies from Chrome) has sparked concern among advertisers who have come to rely on these strategies for their marketing efforts.
Demand for More Privacy
Apple’s update and the integration of ad blockers in many browsers intend to give consumers more control over their privacy. Some browsers, like DuckDuckGo and Tor, have gained consumer popularity because of their privacy creds. Google originally intended to remove cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022, but has delayed another year, in large part because the company has yet to come up with a solution that satisfies consumer’s privacy desires and keeps their advertisers happy. Facebook is facing a similar challenge.
Re-Introducing Server-Side Tracking
To date, Facebook and other social platforms have been using cross-app tracking (what Apple specifically targeted with its update) and browser-side tracking (like the Facebook pixel and third-party cookies) for ad targeting. But as these become less effective, marketers are looking for alternatives. Two years ago, Facebook introduced its server-side conversion tracking tool, called Conversions API or CAPI, designed as a supplement to the Facebook Pixel. Facebook is now recommending brands integrate CAPI into their efforts to combat data tracking hurdles.
CAPI requires brands to share at least one personally-identifiable data point (like an email or phone number) from their consumers in order to match the ad exposure to a conversion event. And, while no data is being shared through CAPI that advertisers couldn’t share with Facebook before, it wasn’t required for brands to recognize a conversion.
What it Means for Brands
Platforms like Google and Facebook are under mounting pressure to address consumer and regulatory concerns around privacy and antitrust, but their desire is to find a solution that provides privacy without jeopardizing lucrative advertising revenue streams.
With solutions like CAPI from Facebook, the responsibility for user privacy is back in the hands of brands, which must walk a fine line between maintaining consumer trust (and not taking advantage of it through unreadable terms and conditions) and understanding the efficacy of advertising efforts. In the coming years, we can continue to expect turbulence in understanding conversions as major tech platforms find new solutions.
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