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What Are Conversion APIs and How Do They Work?

Updated: Jan 25

The Facebook Pixel has been a helpful tool for businesses to keep track of their Facebook performance, but it hasn't been as effective lately. Fortunately, Facebook has come up with a solution - the Facebook Conversions API.

The Conversions API works together with the Facebook Pixel to make sure businesses have all the information they need to make their Facebook marketing the best it can be. While the Pixel keeps an eye on data on the front end of a website, the Conversions API tracks data on the back end, giving a more complete picture of how people are using the website and allowing for more accurate data analysis.

This way, businesses can get a better understanding of how their Facebook marketing is doing, figure out what's working well, and make smart decisions about how to improve their campaigns. 

Why Was the Conversions API Introduced When There’s Pixels?

Okay, so we're going to break this down as simply as we can. Pixel basically helps businesses understand how people interact with their sites.

However, it has been facing some challenges lately. Tools like ad blockers and cookie blockers act like invisibility cloaks, making it harder for the Pixel to see and track what users are doing.

The situation got trickier with the iOS 14 update, especially for iPhone users. This update put serious restrictions on the use of cookies, which are like virtual breadcrumbs that help track your online journey. 

So, when someone clicks on your website from Facebook using an iPhone, it's like they're leaving fewer breadcrumbs for the Pixel to follow. As a result, businesses get less detailed information about how iPhone users are engaging with their websites.

Imagine this: You're a store owner trying to figure out who visited your shop. Now, some customers have found a way to be invisible, especially if they're using iPhones. It's like they walked in and out, but you didn't get a chance to engage with them and understand what they were looking for. That's the challenge businesses are currently facing with the Pixel and the iOS 14 update.

What Is the Difference Between Facebook Pixel and APIs?

The main difference between the Facebook Pixel and the Conversions API lies in how they collect and transmit data:

Facebook Pixel

Collection Method: The Pixel uses cookies, which are small pieces of code stored on users' browsers, to track their actions on a website.

Data Transmission: It sends data directly from the user's browser to Facebook servers.

Device Dependency: Relies on user devices, and its effectiveness can be impacted by factors like ad blockers, privacy settings, or limitations on certain devices.

Conversions API

Collection Method: The Conversions API collects and sends data directly from the website's server to Facebook, bypassing the user's browser.

Data Transmission: It operates server-to-server, ensuring data transmission even when cookies are restricted or blocked.

Device Independence: Works independently of user devices, making it more resilient to issues like ad blockers and privacy settings.

How Do Conversion APIs Work?

Here's how Conversion APIs generally work:

Integration: To use a Conversion API, businesses need to integrate the API into their websites or mobile applications. This integration involves adding a piece of code or implementing an SDK (Software Development Kit) provided by the platform offering the Conversion API.

Event Tracking: Once integrated, the Conversion API is configured to track specific events or actions that represent conversions. These events are usually defined by the business based on their goals and objectives, such as completing a transaction or reaching a particular page.

Data Transmission: When a user performs a conversion event, the Conversion API collects relevant data about the event, such as the type of conversion, user details, and any other information deemed important. This data is then transmitted to the platform's servers.

Server-to-Server Communication: Unlike traditional browser-based tracking methods (like cookies or pixels), Conversion APIs work on a server-to-server basis. This means that the data is sent directly from the business's server to the platform's server, bypassing the need for client-side tracking. This can be particularly useful in cases where browser-based tracking might be limited or less reliable, such as with ad-blockers or privacy settings.

Attribution and Analysis: The platform receiving the conversion data attributes the conversion to the appropriate source or campaign, helping businesses understand which marketing efforts are driving the desired actions. This information is crucial for optimizing advertising strategies and allocating resources effectively.

Privacy Considerations: Conversion APIs are designed to address privacy concerns by reducing reliance on client-side tracking technologies. As data is transmitted server-to-server, businesses can comply with privacy regulations and policies more effectively.

Why You Need Conversions API for Keeping Tabs on Your Facebook Activities

Facebook's Conversions API makes it easier for you to keep track of when users take actions on your website. This way, you can create ads that really fit what people are into. In simple terms, it helps you see:

Cut down on your costs 

Let's break down how the Facebook Conversions API helps you spend your ad budget wisely. It gives you detailed insights by understanding exactly what people do on your website after clicking on your ad.

This extra info is very helpful because it lets you up your advertising game. You get to know your customers better and adjust how you reach out to them. 

Why does this matter? Well, it's about spending your money where it counts. When you have all the little details, you can show ads to the right people with content that actually interests them. No more wasting money on people who might not be interested.

With the Conversions API, you can tell Facebook about the actions people take on your site. This helps you spend your money wisely by not counting actions that don't really lead to anything. It's like having a money-saving sidekick for your ad game.

And that’s not all – say someone adds stuff to their cart but doesn't actually buy anything. The Conversions API steps in to make sure that's not counted as a success, helping you fine-tune your strategy to your goals.

Get the full picture

Now, what's cool about the Conversions API is that it grabs data straight from Facebook's servers. No matter if your customers are on a phone, laptop, or trying to be sneaky with ad blockers or VPNs – it works.

This means you get all the info you need, making sure it's complete and useful. It's like putting together a puzzle with all the pieces, giving you a clear view of how well your ads are doing.

Keep the info flowing, even without cookies

So, people are getting more cautious about privacy and using browsers and search engines that aren't big fans of cookies. Now, this is causing a bit of a headache for advertisers because it means they're missing out on some important data.

Conversions API works to help companies figure out how people are interacting with their site/content especially when the usual cookie method hits a roadblock due to changing privacy laws. It becomes the main way to keep track of how things are performing. So, basically like having a backup plan so you don't miss out on what's happening behind the scenes.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.


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