Facebook Finally Admits To Using Cookies – But What Does It Mean?
For those unaware, a cookie is a small file (or, as Facebook put it ‘piece of text’) used to store information on your computer, laptop, tablet or other device. This can be done so that sites can remember certain preferences of individual users, to store passwords or – more typically – so that sites can remember what content you’ve been looking at, and to tailor their experience accordingly. There’s one reason that most sites use them, though – in order to market to you across different platforms once you’ve clicked away from the site. You can opt out, by signing up with the Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance – but not many people do, and some sites (as we’ll see) ignore this request anyway.
How do Facebook cookies work?
You’ll have likely noticed that once you visit certain sites, you start seeing adverts for them everywhere else. A personal experience of this happened just this morning. Over the past few days, I’ve been indulging in Euro ’96 nostalgia (including creating this themed playlist – forgive me), and looking at purchasing the England shirts that were worn during the tournament. Umbro have made their own recreations of these classics, including the famous grey shirt – so I browsed the Size? website to see how much they were. At £45, they were a little too pricey for me, so I clicked away. However, today – with the relevant Size? cookie lodged in my computer, without my knowledge – I saw this advert in my Facebook feed:
All this makes it sound very seedy, but this is a tactic that all major online stores deploy – and it is highly lucrative. Fact is, I probably will end up purchasing one of those shirts once payday rolls around, and when I do decide to make the decision to buy, it is likely that Size? will be front and centre, waiting to take my money. In addition to this, it is reassuring to see content on my Facebook feed which is relevant to me and my interests rather than, say, another advert for app which I have no intention of installing.
What’s going to change after this Facebook cookie announcement?
You can read Facebook’s cookie policies on their site here. If you’re interested (legally) using cookies for your own Facebook remarketing, or would like to take on any kind of social media campaign, give one of our team a call on 0800 808 9980 and we’d be happy to talk you through it. You can also reach us on Facebook & Twitter if you’d prefer to keep your discussions purely social.