The Facebook Pixel is getting its first major update, and this can be really big. Some of you are probably seeing strange things in the pixel reports or on a Pixel Helper check. It’s all related to the new update roll-out.
This update was completed around May 20th. You should see the new events yourself.
Here’s a video with the new events on our own website
The Mysterious Events
It all started a few weeks back when some of our clients sent us emails asking about some strange events in their Facebook Pixel. They were triggered without any outside intervention, making some folks think that their sites have been hacked. We started to investigate this right away, but we couldn’t find anything wrong. Those events had no logical explanation whatsoever! We were able to exclude the hacking theory, but that was about it. The only possible theory, Facebook is doing some sort of tests.
After some time we started to get other intriguing support requests. This time the Pixel reports were showing all sort of random data, while the Pixel Helper was looking calm and normal. This time we concluded that something is definitely going on, and we asked someone inside Facebook about it.
It turns out that Facebook will start to collect events through automated means without the need to manually add them.
Here’s a quote from their official message:
As a result of this feedback, we’re introducing enhancements to the Facebook pixel to help us improve ads delivery and to automate the pixel set up process. These updates will start rolling out next month starting May 20th, enabling the pixel to send additional information that will help Facebook improve the delivery, measurement, and targeting of clients’ advertising efforts.
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.
But this will not work for all the events and placing the specific event where you actually need it will still be a highly valuable signal, removing any guessing and potential errors.
So don’t stop firing events and standard events, because the new ones will not replace them.
And the New Events Are…
We were able to identify two automatically added events (not including the old PageView you are already used to).
The Microdata Event
It will gather all the Open Graph microdata available on your page and, according to Facebook, it will be used to understand the context associated with actions on your site. There are various plugins adding Open Graph microdata, and we assume that this event will work just fine with any of them. We had a positive experience with the Yoast SEO plugin, something you are probably using already.
The SubscribedButtonClick Event
It will fire on every click a user performs on your site, sending the button text as a parameter (buttonText), together with some other potential data (buttonFeatures parameter), like id, tag, value. There’s also a formFeatures adding additional info.
How to Use These Automatic Events?
The main advantage of this events will be an easier way to create Custom Audiences. They will be integrated into the Custom Audiences panel, and they will be ready to use in the same way as the standard events.
If you’re not familiar with building Custom Audiences from events, we have a small article on how to do it.
What’s not clear now is if these events will be also ready to use for ads optimization. That’s something we have to wait and see.
Here’s the Facebook page about this update
Here’s a video with the new events on our own website
HINT: It highly possible for this pixel update to be related to the NEW (and Fantastic!) ANALYTICS feature that Facebook is also releasing (some of you may already have it). More about this soon.
Great find guys. We had a few clients ask us the exactly same thing a week back and were stomped. Cheers for the clarification.
Is this only for online stores
How about Blogs..
Is this of use to blogs with no store
It’s a general update and will have an impact on all type of sites.
Thanks for sharing this! Will keep an eye out for this in the coming weeks. Do you have the source available for your quote from Facebook?
It’s from a Facebook email I’ve got.
I haven’t got anything from the facebook about the pixel yet. Is it for selected few ?
There is no updated on my websites where I’ve implemented Pixel. Maybe I need to replace Pixel or it must works with current implemented Pixel?
Thanks for the sharing.
But still not able to create audiences based on these activities. Any idea?
I guess the focus of this site is the US, but this new development in the EU will be in direct breach of GDPR regulation. I work for a major media buying comapny, and most of our clients aren’t even aware the pixel is doing this. It was introduced by stealth. If you code up a ‘Sign Up for Newsletter’-type button, Facebook will capture the users’ email address regardless of whether the user has a Facebook account, and therefore accepted any FB terms and conditions. Beware – the EU regulation applies based on where your USERS live, not where your servers are based.
Hi Sasja, quite a valid point, except that, as far as I know (and tested), this event will NOT send the email or any other personal information.