Firefox Defaults to Third Party Tracking Blocking

OK we all knew this was coming, it was inevitable really. Firefox has jumped on the bandwagon of “protecting” users from themselves and now ships with the default option to Block ALL tracking.

Here is their official statement on the subject.

Firefox Now Available with Enhanced Tracking Protection by Default Plus Updates to Facebook Container, Firefox Monitor and Lockwise

And here is a snippet from the article

“Last year, we announced our new approach to anti-tracking, and our commitment to help people stay safe whenever they used Firefox. One of those initiatives outlined was to block cookies from known third party trackers in Firefox. Today, Firefox will be rolling out this feature, Enhanced Tracking Protection, to all new users on by default, to make it harder for over a thousand companies to track their every move. Additionally, we’re updating our privacy-focused features including an upgraded Facebook Container extension, a Firefox desktop extension for Lockwise, a way to keep their passwords safe across all platforms, and Firefox Monitor’s new dashboard to manage multiple email addresses.”

And

“For new users who install and download Firefox for the first time, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be set on by default as part of the ‘Standard’ setting in the browser and will block known “third-party tracking cookies” according to the Disconnect list.”

And

“For example, when you are on a news site and reading an article, you often see Facebook Like and Share buttons. Our Facebook Container will block these buttons and all connections to Facebook’s servers, so that Facebook isn’t able to track your visits to these sites. This blocking makes it much harder for Facebook to build shadow profiles of non-Facebook users. You will know the blocking is in effect when you see the Facebook Container purple fence badge.”

 

What does this Mean for Facebook Marketers?

Well on the face of it it is a sky is falling moment. Let’s be honest here most users of web browsers don’t often go into advanced settings and change stuff like this so most users will now block third party tracking and also Facebook pixel data out of the gate. Plus Firefox will roll out this update to all users over time. That’s a lot of people.

I’m guessing the Facebook user base will cheer and also sigh in equal measure. I myself like Facebook ads as they are useful and also give me ideas. But A lot of users on Facebook hate them for sure and hate being tracked. They like Facebook being FREE to use but don’t want to think about who is paying for the experience as that would be far to awkward.

Facebook marketing is going to get harder and harder as this takes hold and a large amount of the user base use these tools and or turn them on once they know they can.

However marketers are clever and will figure out ways around this. Also of note is this. Facebook make all of their money from advertisers and NOT from their user base. They do want to gather data on their users base to help their marketers spend more money with them on adverts. As such they are not going to sacrifice their own cash cow. Who knows they might launch their own browser LOL. Stranger things have happened.

 

Facebook or SEO then?

One thing is for sure marketing is hard and always has been. Anyone in business needs clients and sales. Without those you pretty much don’t have a business.

Ive always been a keen advocate of SEO for obvious reasons. People on Facebook are not looking for you or your business for that matter. Yes of course Facebook advertising works but it is push marketing. You are ramming your offer down peoples throats that are actually looking at meaningless shit that their friends are posting.

SEO on the hand is a different animal altogether. Those people are actively looking for you and are not being blocked from finding you by clever pieces of software. They sit down and search and if you pop up in the results they might click your link. They are a much warmer prospect to be honest just because of that.

As such you should set aside budget for both activity’s, run a Facebook campaign alongside an SEO one so you can cover both types of user. Don’t have all your eggs in one basket otherwise you are always at the mercy of the internet giants changing the playing field and upsetting your marketing efforts overnight.

The sensible thing to do here for your business is to have have multiple funnels in place budget allowing of course.