Meta CAPI: The First-Party Data Solution for Facebook Ad Campaigns

Gina Wisse

Assistant Head of Paid Social and Programmatic


As third-party cookie deprecation continues, programmatic advertisers must adopt new methods for ad campaigns to succeed. Conversions API (CAPI) is Meta’s solution to help fill the void left by third-party cookie deprecation.

CAPI allows for a direct connection between marketing data and Meta, resulting in more sophisticated data to aid the creation of Facebook ads. This blog explains what CAPI is, how Meta Conversions API is future-proofed, and the benefits CAPI brings to Facebook targeting and audience creation. 

What is Conversions API, and how does Meta CAPI work?


For context, here’s an example of the journey users take to get to a website through a Facebook ad: 

Stage 1: A Facebook user sees a retailer’s product ad
Stage 2: The user clicks on the ad, and it takes them to the retailer’s website 

Stage 3: Once on the website, the user purchases the product they saw in the Facebook ad they clicked on. 

The third stage is where the conversion is attributed to Facebook via a third-party cookie through the Meta pixel, and this is where third-party cookies become essential. The Meta pixel is code that can be added to websites to track third-party user activity from Facebook and Instagram. 

However, as third-party cookies deplete, this process has become more challenging, so CAPI was created to help with these Facebook advertising campaigns.




Meta explains that the Conversions API feature is:

Designed to create a connection between an advertiser’s marketing data (such as website events, app events, business messaging events, and offline conversions) from an advertiser’s server, website platform, mobile app, or CRM to Meta systems that optimize ad targeting, decrease cost per result and measure outcomes.

In essence, CAPI is Meta’s first-party data tool for tracking conversions. Instead of relying on third-party cookies through the Meta pixel, CAPI collects first-party data and uses a server to transfer the data over to Meta. After transferring the data, Meta continues tracking the conversion server-side, removing heavy reliance on third-party cookies.

For CAPI to operate successfully, you need an efficient server to collate and transfer the first-party data to Meta. 

Meta’s CAPI anticipates the future


As of April 2023, 39% of media and marketing initiatives worldwide were concerned by a lack of preparedness for the cookie-less future. In years to come, processible personal data is going to decrease. Conversions API is Meta’s future-proof solution to stop Facebook’s ad data from disappearing.

Meta has made sure CAPI has adapted to the changes in the ad ecosystem; as such, CAPI does not bypass data-sharing policies or regulations. Instead, the beauty of the Conversions API is that as more results are reported and made visible to advertisers, these are not at the detriment of the user’s privacy. CAPI honors users’ privacy preferences to get the best possible data without third-party cookies or browsers. 

The benefits of Meta’s Conversions API


1. Data is more reliable


CAPI makes the data programmatic advertisers use for Facebook ad campaigns more reliable. Because CAPI utilizes first-party data, this makes it less dependent on internet browser activity and avoids issues including: 

  • Loading errors 
  • Connectivity issues 
  • Ad blockers 

So, rather than leaving specific data behind, all necessary data is captured and utilized. But advertisers must remember that Conversions API or the Meta pixel should not be used siloed. Both can leverage only some of the data available on Facebook.

Therefore, it is best to use CAPI and the Meta pixel together to reap the benefits of each. The advantage is that the more substantial the reliability of your user data, the lower the cost-per-action for Facebook ad campaigns. 

2. The data is more sophisticated


All programmatic campaigns aim to attract users at the top of the funnel to perform a preferred action, eventually leading them to the bottom to achieve a specific business goal. 

CAPI helps programmatic advertisers get closer to data further down the funnel and optimize toward those users more strongly. These are called “deep funnel events,” and examples include: 

  • Custom web events: Website actions that are logged as events, such as a user adding an item to a basket
  • Non-web events: Web chats, phone calls, interaction with an app, or emails

Facebook Conversions API tracks these actions, collating higher lead quality data and making data much more mature. This results in more optimized campaigns reflecting the company’s goals and target audience. 



Search Laboratory | Digital Marketing Agency

3. CAPI improves custom audience creation and retargeting


Even after optimizing toward deep-funnel activity, Facebook CAPI improves performance by enabling better retargeting through cross-channel custom audiences via identity matching. 

Cross-channel custom audiences are created by analyzing custom web event and non-web event data from CAPI and the Meta pixel against users’ actions.

To retarget users successfully through identity matching, you need to take the data you formed as your cross-channel custom audience and match this to a person’s Meta profile. The higher the identity match rate, the more effective a cross-channel custom audience and retargeting campaign can be. 

The future of Facebook CAPI


Collecting data through Meta Conversions API, in conjunction with the Meta pixel, is the key to ensuring that third-party data loss does not negatively impact your Facebook ad campaigns. Along with 49% of fellow global advertisers, your marketing team should activate a first-party data solution such as CAPI to ensure the best Meta campaign results as we all move closer toward a cookie-less future.

Do you need to implement CAPI?Contact us to discuss next steps