What is a Website Cookie
A cookie is simply a piece of data that is stored on your computer which gives websites information on your visits and general activities within that site.
Cookies were invented in the mid ‘90s by a programmer working for Netscape. The programmer was building an online store, but the company’s servers were becoming overloaded with customer data. The programmer was tasked with finding a way to store digital information on the customers’ computers, taking the burden off the servers. The programmer tried an established strategy called the “magic cookie,” which was used to store data from someone trying to log into a system. Using this concept for web browsing, the modern cookie was created.
Today, website cookies are basically bits of information stored on your individual computer and accessed by websites when you visit. They identify your computer, but can also track information and activity, creating a smoother and more convenient user experience. Suppose you are looking at a shopping site; the cookies from this site may track your shopping cart, as well as items you viewed in order to suggest other items that may be of interest.
Cookies can also be used to track original visitors. When you first visit a site, a cookie is assigned to your computer to identify you as a single visitor. When you visit again later that day, the website reads the cookie and knows you are not an original visitor.
In general, cookies only apply to that specific website and don’t carry over to others. But some do, these are called “third-party cookies.” If a website has a button that allows you to “Like” on Facebook, the site is connected to the social media. Facebook then sends cookies from their site, to the shopping site, to you, allowing them to target ads related to your activity on the shopping site. This is an example of a third-party cookie.
What is Facebook Pixel?
Facebook Pixel is a product that functions in a similar fashion to a cookie. As a business owner, you can use this feature to improve your targeted advertising by monitoring customer’s activity. The tool is simply pasted into your site’s header so you can track Facebook users who interact with your site. Using the tool, you can see who went from a Facebook ad to your site, and what they did while on your site. Basically, it is a cookie that helps you understand the effectiveness of your Facebook ads.