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Difference Between Facebook CAPI and Server-side Tracking

Updated: Apr 10

Facebook may have recently asked you to connect to its conversions API. Accurately tracking and analysing user data is paramount in digital marketing. It separates successful campaigns from those that fail to achieve their goals.

Two prominent methods for tracking user data are Facebook's Facebook API (CAPI) and server-side tracking via platforms like While both enhance data accuracy and control, understanding their differences and benefits is crucial for optimising your marketing efforts. Let's examine both.


Facebook CAPI:


Facebook's Facebook API allows advertisers to send web events from their servers directly to Facebook. This method provides more control over data transmission and allows for better attribution, especially in scenarios where client-side tracking might be limited due to browser restrictions or ad blockers.

If you want Server Side tracking set up, use the instant quote button.


One of the key advantages of using Facebook CAPI is its integration with Facebook Ads Manager, providing marketers with a centralised platform for tracking and optimising campaigns. This streamlined approach can lead to more efficient ad spend and better insights into user behaviour within the Facebook ecosystem.


Server-Side Tracking via


On the other hand, Server-Side tracking, facilitated by platforms like, takes data control and accuracy to the next level. By bypassing client-side limitations altogether, Server-Side monitoring ensures that all user interactions are accurately captured and attributed, regardless of browser settings or ad blockers. Note that this depends on what setting you’re in your GDPR.


One significant benefit of Server-Side tracking is its ability to track conversions from all traffic sources, not just Facebook. This comprehensive approach gives marketers a holistic view of their campaign performance, enabling better optimisation across multiple channels.


Enhanced Conversions with AdWords:


For marketers utilising Google Ads, the benefits of Server-Side tracking become even more apparent. With Server-Side tracking, advertisers can capture and attribute conversions more accurately, leading to better optimisation of AdWords campaigns and, ultimately, improved ROI.


By leveraging Server-Side tracking alongside AdWords, marketers can gain deeper insights into user behaviour and optimise their campaigns accordingly. This enhanced level of data control can make a significant difference, especially in competitive markets or niche industries.


In recent years, there has been a significant shift in how user data is collected and tracked online, mainly due to privacy concerns and regulatory changes. Google has been at the forefront of these changes, announcing plans to phase out third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by the end of 2024. NB: Interesting article on this here:


This shift towards more privacy-centric browsing environments underscores the importance of adopting alternative tracking methods, such as Server-Side tracking. By relying less on traditional cookie-based monitoring and more on server-side solutions, marketers can future-proof their tracking infrastructure and ensure compliance with evolving privacy regulations.

As we look towards the future of digital marketing, its clear that the landscape will continue to evolve rapidly. With new technologies and regulations shaping how we track and analyse user data, staying ahead of the curve is more important than ever.


Adapting to these changes is paramount for e-commerce businesses, in particular. As online shopping becomes increasingly prevalent, ensuring accurate tracking and attribution is essential for driving sales and maintaining a competitive edge.


While Facebook CAPI offers a solid foundation for tracking and optimising campaigns within the Facebook ecosystem, adopting a complete setup with Server-Side tracking via platforms like provides a more comprehensive solution. Marketers can enhance conversions across all traffic sources, gain better data control, and adapt to the changing landscape of online advertising. As we move into 2024 and beyond, now is the time for e-commerce businesses to prioritise their tracking infrastructure and embrace the future of digital marketing.

If you would like a quote to set up your server-side tracking, click here.


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