Social Media

The magic eight Facebook events

These new tracking rules mean that Facebook can only track one event per interaction with your ad — meaning that if a user went to your website, made a search, viewed content, added to cart, and initiated checkout, Facebook would only track and report ONE of those events, based on your prioritization.

Will Apple’s iOS 14 privacy updates affect you?

Magic 8 Ball: “Signs point to yes.”

Well, you can’t argue with that! Let’s talk about these updates — while there are a variety of effects these changes will have on Facebook ads, one of the most major adjustments digital advertisers will need to make has to do with the conversion events Facebook is allowed to track.

These events include conversions (such as purchases, leads, or registrations) and microconversions (adds to cart, checkouts initiated, searches, content views, etc.), essentially any action a user takes on your website. Apple users who opt out of Facebook tracking will not be tracked when they visit your website after clicking on your ads, but even those who do opt in to be tracked (or those who aren’t using an Apple device) will be tracked in a different way than social media marketers have been accustomed to.

These new tracking rules mean that Facebook can only track one event per interaction with your ad — meaning that if a user went to your website, made a search, viewed content, added to cart, and initiated checkout, Facebook would only track and report ONE of those events, based on your prioritization.

Facebook marketers must make formal lists of events in their desired priority order, and they can only choose up to eight events per verified domain across all ad campaigns. These lists can be configured through Facebook’s “Aggregated Event Measurement protocol” under the Pixel events manager.

Once you’ve selected those “magic” eight events, Facebook will only track the one event closest to the top of your list that any given user performs. Additionally, once you’ve formally submitted this list, you can change it up — but each time you make a change, your ads will be paused for three days. It’s important you take some time to really look at those events prior to formally prioritizing them in your Facebook Business Manager.


Here’s an example, just to walk you through this craziness:

For one of the ecommerce brands we work with, we identified eight events to prioritize for their brand through Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement protocol. Check them out below, with number one being the top priority and number eight being the least important.

  1. Purchase
  2. Add Payment Info
  3. Initiate Checkout
  4. Add to Cart
  5. Complete Registration (we’re using this for email sign-ups)
  6. Lead (we’re using this for wholesale forms)
  7. Add to Wishlist
  8. View Content

Now that these are established, we can no longer track any other on-website events that have been tracked by Facebook’s Pixel in the past (like when a user searches your website, makes a donation, or looks for your brick and mortar location, because they’re not included in our list of chosen events). We do know, however, that these eight events are going to be the most critical for this brand in providing analyzable data on ad performance and conversion rates/potential. That’s why we selected them.

Let’s say, now, that there are two users who see and interact with your ad. User A opts out of being tracked by Facebook, and User B allows Facebook to track them (or is on a device without Apple privacy restrictions).

User A, who isn’t being tracked by Facebook’s Pixel, scrolls through Facebook or Instagram, and sees this brand’s video ad. They watch half the video, react to the post, and then click on your video ad. Guess what? All of this information is still tracked in your ads manager, because this is happening on Facebook.

Once they’ve clicked and left Facebook to your website (with a verified domain), they view your content, submit their email address for a promo code, search for a product category, and add some products to their cart. This information is NOT tracked in your ads manager, even though these microconversions are taking place, because Facebook does not have permission to use its Pixel to collect this data.

User B, on the other hand, is being tracked by Facebook’s Pixel. They scroll through Facebook or Instagram, and see this brand’s video ad. They watch half the video, react to the post, and then click on your video ad. Again, all of this information is tracked in your ads manager, because this is happening on Facebook.

Once they’ve clicked and left Facebook to your website (with a verified domain), they view your content, submit their email address for a promo code, search for a product category, and add some products to their cart. Only the add to cart is being tracked in your ads manager, even though these other microconversions are taking place, because Facebook can only track the event closest to the top of your priority list.

If this user had only searched for a product category on your website, that would still not have been tracked, even though they are allowing Facebook’s Pixel to track them, because it’s not part of your eight events list.


If this still sounds slightly confusing, that’s because we are all still learning exactly how these adjustments will play out. Apple is not yet enforcing its privacy policies and therefore is not enforcing these data tracking rules. That being said, now is the time for digital advertisers to create their prioritization lists so they will experience a smooth transition from Facebook’s current system to the new eight event tracking system.

If you need additional help or guidance on which events your brand should be prioritizing specifically, where can you turn?

Can the team here at Swello Marketing help you?

Magic 8 Ball: “Yes, definitely.”


Don’t hesitate to talk with your account manager at Swello. If you’re not partnered with the Swello team yet, reach out to us and we’d be happy to help.


Eight Event FAQs

What are the events that I can choose from?

Well, there’s actually quite the list! All of the events below are included in those tracked by Facebook’s Pixel on your website, in addition to any custom conversion events you have set up.

  • Add Payment Info
  • Add to Cart
  • Add to Wishlist
  • Complete Registration
  • Contact
  • Customize Product
  • Donate
  • Find Location
  • Initiate Checkout
  • Lead
  • Purchase
  • Schedule
  • Search
  • Start Trial
  • Submit Application
  • Subscribe
  • View Content

Note that there are other events that Facebook tracks ON Facebook (video views, post likes/engagement, clicks, etc.) that we will continue to be able to track regardless of an Apple user’s privacy prompt response.


When do I need to select these events?

Apple has not announced when it will begin enforcing its privacy policies, but it is predicted that this will occur early in 2021. The sooner you select these events, the more prepared you will be for these coming changes.


Which events are the most important for me to prioritize?

It really depends on your brand. Do you sell products, or a service? Are you looking for purchases or leads? Do you have a physical store location, or are you an online-only business? Talk with a Swello digital marketing expert today to get recommendations based on your brand’s unique needs.


Okay, I get it. How do I do this?

We’d recommend visiting Facebook’s Business Help Center, where they provide step-by-step instructions. If you still need help, contact your account manager here at Swello.

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