Data privacy is a trending topic throughout the year. Rumors about the end of cookies, third-party data blocking and tracking through the browser are gaining more and more strength and more alternatives are appearing for the "apocalypse" of the world with cookies to take place.
What is Conversions API?
In order to maintain data privacy and still be able to deliver personalized ads to users, Facebook has launched Conversions API (CAPI or previously Server-Side API). An interface that allows advertisers to send events from their servers directly to Facebook. Those server events are used in measurement, reporting and optimization. The goal is to send event and conversion data to Facebook Ads Manager while maintaining data privacy.
In addition, Facebook recommends advertisers to implement the Conversions API alongside the Pixel for optimal full-funnel tracking and a much more reliable data exchange. In this way, Facebook's ad optimization algorithm will be much more effective.
Conversions API vs Facebook Pixel
But will the Conversions API replace the Facebook Pixel? The answer is: No. In fact, having the Facebook Pixel correctly implemented on your website is one of the 3 requirements to be able to integrate CAPI. It is also a must to have a Business Manager account and an Access ID to be able to use the API.
The Facebook Pixel allows Facebook to track and collect user activity and match it with a Facebook profile, and measure events and conversions to monitor the performance of an ad.
Really, the only difference between Pixel and CAPI is the method of sending data. With the Pixel, Facebook directly collects the data while with CAPI it uses its own data (consumer id, purchase events...) and then sends it to Facebook.
Top, Pixel-Facebook process and bottom, Pixel-Server-CAPI process.
Deduplicate events from the Pixel and CAPI
As you may have noticed, both Pixel and CAPI use the same type of conversion events and that could cause duplications. For this, Facebook also has a solution.
The Conversions API itself incorporates within the interface an automatic event deduplication process to ensure that events are not counted twice whenever the parameters required by Facebook are sent. Specifically, two parameters are compared and if they match, they are deduplicated:
The CAPI event_name and the pixel's event_name
CAPI event_id and pixel event_id
Benefits of Conversions API
Overall, the best advantage of CAPI is that it helps marketers offer transparency and data control to consumers while still delivering personalized experiences. That is, control what data is shared with Facebook's servers and still be able to send data despite cookie blocking.
Increased funnel visibility: The Conversions API allows you to share a broader view of the data compared to the Facebook pixel, it provides more insights for decision making. The pixel alone provides information on actions that occur on the website (e.g. visit or purchase), instead, complemented with CAPI you can define the complete customer journey. From off-site purchases to whether or not the customer continues to use a free trial.
Of course, this article is only an introduction to the Conversions API. If you want to dive deeper into the interface, take a look at Facebook's presentation: