A Quick Guide to Understanding Facebook’s Conversions API

Making Sense of the Changes to Ads Performance Tracking and What it Means for Your Online Ads

What is the Facebook Conversion API?

Facebook’s Conversions API is a tool that allows advertisers to integrate campaign performance data with Facebook Ads campaigns. Conversions API uses a pixel-less tracking and attribution method to share web and offline events with the Facebook Ads account, which is then used to optimize campaign performance. It helps optimize campaigns without the use of cookies and aims to prepare advertisers for minimal impact when the web eventually shifts to additional privacy features like those included in the GDPR.

In the case of the Facebook offline conversions API (formerly the Server-Side API), it allows advertisers to send offline events from a separate server directly to Facebook and track users across multiple devices without having to rely on cookies or pixels.

That’s not to say that the Facebook Pixel will be completely phased out. According to Facebook, the Facebook Ads account is capable of integrating traditional performance tracking data from the Pixel with the Conversions API data. When used in conjunction, it improves the overall accuracy of information used in ads targeting, measurement and optimization.

What are third party cookies?

When a visitor interacts with a website, and it shares user data with other websites, that is using a third party cookie.

Changes in GDPR, Apple’s iOS privacy features, and other potential future updates to the Internet are trending away from using third-party cookies.

The Facebook Ads platform traditionally leveraged third party cookies to optimize its audience targeting features. Without the use of third-party cookies, the platform’s machine learning AI will not have access to the user data that it did in the past to help it optimize the advertising experience.

The Conversions API Solves for Cookie Depreciation

Old conversion tracking models for Facebook relied on Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers, also called the IDFA. IDFA is a random device identifier assigned by Apple to a user’s device. So advertisers were able to use IDFAs to track user behavior from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel. 

However, in a cookieless world, IDFAs are being phased out.

Without the ability to track users by device IDs, online advertisers will have to find alternatives to sales tracking and attribution.

In a way, Facebook’s Conversions API reverse engineers conversion tracking from the bottom to the top of the sales funnel. Once a user is on a site, certain behaviors can be tracked and attributed back to the original traffic source. For example, submitting a contact form, adding payment information on the checkout page, or even making a purchase provides the bottom-of-the-funnel event that can be shared with the Conversions API and provide more accurate attribution in the future.

Once the Conversions API is integrated, it’s an excellent workaround to the loss of third party cookie data.

Should I be worried?


The recent changes to the Facebook ads platform will have the biggest impact on your Facebook Ads campaigns if they are using the same settings from 2020, audience targeting iOS devices, or relying solely on the Facebook Pixel for conversion attribution.

Assuming that you have taken steps to alleviate these issues, you’ll be nicely positioned to return to the old conversion rates that you may have once enjoyed.

Is there any upkeep required if Facebook changes the API?

Like all things in the online advertising world, some regular maintenance is to be expected. However, Facebook has been making moves to ease the transition as much as possible. 

The Conversions API auto-updates any remarketing and lookalike audiences that you may be using in the Facebook Ads platform. Conversion tracking data is more complete than using just the Facebook Pixel, as well.

Because of the current trend towards a cookieless future, Conversions API utilizes a more anonymized data stream, so it’s less likely to get shut down as the Internet enacts more privacy features for users.

Feeling Inspired?

Do you want to know more about our customer acquisition services at 565 Media? Have questions about Facebook Ads marketing or digital strategy in general? Don’t hesitate to contact us or call (323) 902-7439. Our experts will come up with optimized ad campaigns tailored for your business. 

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