Server-side Tracking and the Facebook CAPI Post-iOS14

By Bradley Riley
September 12, 2022

iOS14. A watershed moment in the digital marketing world. Don’t get us wrong, steps forward in data privacy are, in our opinion, a great thing. People should definitely have more of a say in how their data is used. However, there is no escape from the fact that it has rocked the digital advertising world's boat. There’s no need to fear capsizing- you can climb back out of the lifeboat and deflate your life vest for now.

Naturally, too much money is passed through ads for companies like Meta to not react in a way that lets advertisers keep spending on the platform. 

We’ll try to keep things as simple as possible here. The Meta Pixel is a browser-based way of tracking and iOS14.5 made this form of passing data back to Meta less effective. 

The solution? Server-side tracking.

When people receive the prompt to opt out of tracking across the web, even if they do opt out, doesn’t actually mean that their actions cannot be tracked or attributed at all.

Advertisers are given the option to prioritise the events that they want to track; you’re probably familiar with View Content, Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout, Lead and Purchase, to name a few. 

Essentially, advertisers organise these into an order of priority- then they are allowed to send the data from the highest-priority event that was triggered, even if a user opted out. It is worth noting that Meta has taken steps to anonymise this data but at least advertisers have access to event data like purchases and purchase conversion value.

Implementing server-side tracking is a case of setting up the CAPI on Facebook/Meta Ads. Initially, at the onset of iOS14, this looked to be a bit of a daunting task but now there are many integrations and tutorials on how to do this.

It’s worth noting that you will also need to verify your domain with Facebook and select domain-tracking at the ad level of your campaigns.

Hope this helps!

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