Have you been seeing some weird things going on with your Facebook pixel lately that you've had trouble explaining? Any unfamiliar events when you open up Facebook Pixel Helper that appear to have been set up and triggered even if you haven't added any new ones to your webpage's code?
Huh? What's this?
Welp, here's the scoop. It looks like Facebook's running some tests in preparation for a serious rollout that's scheduled to begin May 20th. New enhancements to the Facebook pixel will take place to, according to officials from Facebook, "improve ad delivery and to automate the pixel set up process...enabling the pixel to send additional information that will help Facebook improve the delivery, measurement, and targeting of clients' advertising efforts."
Further, "the additional data sent through pixel will include button click activity on clients websites, like “add to cart” or “purchase” clicks, and will also include information from clients website page’s metadata to better understand context associated with these actions."
So data sent through the pixel will also include information from your page’s structure to better understand context associated with these actions. Cool. But this isn't going to be effective for all events across the board; placing the specific event where you actually need it will still be absolutely critical so that you remove any room for error - especially during the initial rollout where there may be some kinks and bugs. So don’t go crazy and stop firing events and standard events or anything, because the new ones aren't gonna substitute them anyway. Ultimately this upgrade should improve Facebook advertisers' ability to track actions like “add to cart,” “click to call” or “purchase” based on how a visitor uses or navigates through the site. This should help advertisers gather more data on their site without having to incorporate a bunch of custom events. The page metadata that will now be passed along includes Opengraph or Schema.org data included on the page.
Facebook's Business Help Page provides further details on the upcoming changes:
"To improve your ads delivery, how Facebook measures the results of your ads and in an effort to enhance the relevancy and usefulness of ads, we’re enhancing the Facebook pixel. The Facebook pixel will start sending more contextual information from your website to better understand and categorize the actions that people take on your site to optimize for ads delivery.
The additional information sent through pixel will include actions on your page, like “add to cart” or “purchase” clicks, and will also include information from your page’s structure to better understand context associated with these actions.If you created your Facebook pixel before April 20, this new functionality will go into effect May 20. For Facebook pixels created April 20 or later, this change will take effect immediately."
If you've recently created a new pixel and feel like you need to turn off this new upgrade, the Facebook for Developers page has got your back - here's the hack:
"If you’d like to configure the Facebook Pixel to not send this additional information, you can add the line fbq(‘set’, ‘autoConfig’, ‘false’, ‘FB_PIXEL_ID’) above the init call in the Facebook Pixel Base code and the Facebook Pixel will no longer send this additional information."
Here's a sneak peek into some of the new events:
Microdata. This is designed to collect all the Open Graph microdata that's present on your page and will apparently be used to gain more context on the actions visitors take while on your site. There are various plugins adding Open Graph microdata, and it's likely that this event will work just fine with any of them - such as Yoast SEO for WordPress sites.
SubscribedButtonClick. This is going to fire on every click a user performs on your site, sending the button text as a parameter (buttonText), together with some other data (buttonFeatures parameter), like id, tag, value. There's also a formFeatures parameter that adds additional information.
Talk about an easier way to create Custom Audiences! They will be integrated into the Custom Audiences panel, and they will be ready to implement in the same way as you would implement the standard events. Sounds good to us!
If you're running Facebook ads or even boosted posts *shudder* and have no idea what I'm talking about or don't know what a Facebook pixel is: kill your ads immediately and get in touch as soon as is humanly possible because you're literally flushing money down the toilet. Seriously. Let's chat. Click here to schedule a session with me and let's get your ads working for you.