View tag parameters and cookies

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The query string parameters in the URL of a Pinterest tag network request contain data sent to Pinterest from advertiser websites.

HTTP cookies, or web cookies, are small pieces of data that work like receipts for websites you visit while browsing the internet. Domains create stored information on a person’s browser while the person browses the site. For example, cookies allow websites to keep track of the items in your cart as well as other pieces of information.

View query string parameters in a browser

You can view these parameters to verify whether your tag is working correctly.

  1. Open the developer tools in Chrome or Safari, depending on which browser you’re using
  2. Click the Network tab, then filter for ‘ct.pinterest’
  3. Click one of the network requests
  4. Scroll down to the Headers tab and find Query string parameters

We recommend checking the following query string parameters for the Pinterest tag:

  • tid: Your tag ID. It should match your unique Pinterest tag ID in Ads Manager.
  • event: The name of the event. This is only for event tags such as PageVisit, AddToCart, Checkout, etc.
  • ed: Your event data. You can decide what to send us back.
  • ad: Automatic data.
    • loc: location URL
    • ref: referrer URL
    • if: (boolean) whether the tag fired from within an iframe
    • sh: screen height
    • sw: screen width
  • pd: Partner data.
    • em: hashed email address value
    • tm: tag manager that was used, if any
  • cb: Cache buster, which is the current timestamp.

Pinterest tag cookie data

The Pinterest tag reads the following cookies:

  • _pinterest_sess
  • _pinterest_ct
  • _pinterest_ct_rt
  • _epik
  • _derived_epik
  • _pin_unauth
  • _pinterest_ct_ua

_pinterest_sess is the Pinterest login cookie. It contains user ID(s), authentication token(s) and timestamps. If the person is logged out, authentication tokens are deleted but we leave the cookie present. We use the logged out user ID(s) to optimize the person’s experience and measurement.

_pinterest_ct and _pinterest_ct_rt are identical. They contain a user ID and the timestamp at which the cookie was created.

_epik is placed by the JavaScript tag based on information sent from Pinterest with promoted traffic to help identify the user.

_derived_epik is placed by the Pinterest tag when a match is identified when no cookies are present, such as Enhanced Match.

_pin_unauth is a first party cookie which groups actions for users who cannot be identified by Pinterest.

_pinterest_ct_ua is identical to _pin_unauth, but as a third party cookie.

Pinterest tag cookie behavior

  • _pinterest_sess is the Pinterest login cookie and is used to store a person’s login state within a web browser. It’s updated whenever a person logs into or out of Pinterest. This cookie contains the person’s Pinterest ID as well as the person’s authentication tokens if the person is logged into Pinterest.
  • _pinterest_ct is the equivalent of the _pinterest_sess for our in-app browser. This cookie is set in the person’s in-app browser whenever the person views offsite content, such as a third-party website, from within the Pinterest app.
  • _pinterest_ct_rt is set whenever the person visits an advertiser’s site which has the Pinterest tag installed. This is the only cookie that is conditional. The _pinterest_sess cookie needs to be present for a request to ct.pinterest.com to result in a _pinterest_ct_rt cookie being written.
  • _epik is set when a person visits a page from a Pinterest ad. When someone clicks on a Pinterest ad, information is added to the URL to help the Pinterest tag find a match. The Pinterest tag caches this information in this cookie
  • _derived_epik is placed when the Pinterest tag reports a match identified without using cookies, such as through Enhanced Match. The Pinterest tag caches information to make matching on future pages easier.
  • _pin_unauth is a first party cookie placed by the Pinterest Tag when we are unable to match the user. It contains a unique UUID to group actions across pages.
  • _pinterest_ct_ua is the same as _pin_unauth, but as a third party cookie.

The Pinterest tag creates and accesses cookies in a first-party context on your site domain, providing better visibility into the Pinterest traffic on your site. You can always delete first-party cookies.

The Pinterest tag will redirect tag requests to a third-party cross-device graph. They will take the form of ct.pinterest.com, pinterest.adsymptotic.com, ct.pinterest.com. If you’d like to opt out of our cross-device feature, please contact us.

The cookies are persistent for one year from when you install the tag but can be deleted by the person at any time.

What’s the next step?

Learn how to Enable optional Enhanced Match. If you do not want to enable Enhanced Match, then it’s time to Verify the Pinterest tag.

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