Facebook Conversions API has become the new solution to tracking data since Apple’s iOS 14 privacy update was rolled out in April 2021. This made it mandatory for users to opt in or out of allowing Facebook to track their behavior across websites and apps owned by different businesses. If someone decides to opt out of tracking, advertisers lose the ability to track them outside of the app. Conversions API is a way to more accurately track this data beyond a Facebook pixel. The pixel can track website events such as add-to-carts and purchases, but Conversions API can track more events that happen on the website’s server side like phone calls or submissions. This allows businesses to ensure their ads are shown to people who are more likely to convert. 

Here is an example of how Conversions API works: A user is shopping for new shoes and visits a business’s website. Facebook gives the user a unique ID to the website’s server. The server will track the actions the user takes such as clicking on a pair of shoes, adding to their cart and checking out. The actions tracked by the server are then sent to Facebook.

Conversions API and data privacy

Website events and consumer data can be shared from servers to Facebook Ads Manager as long as the necessary rights and permissions are followed. Data privacy is a big concern for businesses when using Conversions API so this ensures the data is being tracked securely while still protecting user’s privacy. 

Benefits of using Conversions API vs. Facebook Pixel

These are both tools that can be used for tracking website events, but there are a few differences in how they track data. Since Conversions API can track events beyond the Facebook pixel, events can be tracked that happen by phone which helps improve the accuracy of audience targeting, retargeting and campaign optimizations. As a result, businesses are seeing a higher return on investment when running on Facebook. The pixel sends the web events data to Ads Manager through a web browser, while Conversions API sends the data from other servers without using cookies.

Best practices for using Conversions API

Conversions API should be implemented with the Facebook pixel to ensure no events are missed. When using both the pixel and Conversions API, duplication can occur such as a purchase being counted on both the server and the browser. This is where deduplication comes into play. The platform recognizes it is receiving two of the same events and will revert to using the data from the browser so only one event is counted. 

How to use Facebook Conversions API

Businesses will need to set up a Facebook Ads Manager account and create an API pixel. The pixel will need to be installed on their website and their key website events will need to be mapped to the pixel. The event data is sent to Facebook through the business’s server, which can be set up through a partner integration, or set up manually through Events Manager. Partner integrations include Shopify, WordPress and Google Tag Manager. 

Who should use Conversions API

Ecommerce businesses, online advertisers/marketers and businesses with valuable conversion events should be set up with Facebook Conversions API. This is especially important if the business relies on website event data that can’t be tracked by the Facebook pixel, such as phone calls and text messages, or if they need more accurate data to improve audience targeting and optimizations.