In mid-May 2017, the Facebook Pixel started to automatically send button click (SubscribedButtonClick) and metadata (MicroData) tracking events.
This is a feature called Auto-Config where:
The Facebook pixel will send button click and page metadata (such as data structured according to Opengraph or Schema.org formats) from your website to improve your ads delivery and measurement and automate your pixel setup. – Facebook Developer Docs
This has been officially documented and can be explicitly turned off (if desired) by placing the following line (with your Pixel ID) before the Pixel’s “init” call:
fbq('set', 'autoConfig', false, 'FB_PIXEL_ID')
If there is no strong reason to disable this default behavior, I recommend keeping it as in the future there may be functionality specifically attached to this behavior that may benefit your ad delivery.
But in some extreme cases, this feature can be manually disabled to give full control as to where the pixel fires. This will also ultimately stop the SubscribedButtonClick and MicroData events from firing.
In very rare cases, there have been some reports where AutoConfig has yielded some unexpected behavior in conjunction some tag managers setup where a client’s specific/proprietary setup listens for all POST events (from a form) and then fires an Analytics Event (e.g. when a person/customer on their sites submits a form they fire a tracking event). This is not exactly the best way to implement an accurate tracking scheme, but it is understandable how this implementation assumption can be made and how it can negatively interact with the Facebook Pixel.
Why would we see the Facebook Pixel sending POST requests instead of the typical GET requests?
As I noted in a previous post, when the payload greater than 2048 characters is attached, the Facebook Pixel JS code will fire off the event via a POST request instead of a GET request. When it comes to OpenGraph and Schema.org tags, this additional metadata can often increase the payload that the event is sending if the metadata on the page is quite descriptive/long.
Either way, it is important to understand what the AutoConfig feature is, why it exists, what possible effects it can have and how to control it.
How do I take advantage of AutoConfig and ensure my OpenGraph and Schema.org data is detected?
Cat Howell wrote a practical article on how to get it up and running: Facebook Microdata – What it is and How to Set it Up.. As of the date of this article’s publication, there is no way to manually use these events within the Ads Manager/Power Editor in any way, so in a sense, these events are simply working behind the scenes.
Facebook rolled out a pretty epic update to the pixel – epic because it was a massive power play and showed just how intent the platform is to improving advertising – Cat Howell