IntegrationsApril 23, 2020

Improve site performance without losing conversions with mParticle’s new server-to-server Facebook integration for web data

mParticle now supports the ability to forward event data from your web properties to Facebook via a server-to-server (S2S) integration, in addition to our existing client-side forwarding.

facebook server side api

Overview

SaaS platforms for web analytics, marketing automation, attribution and advertising often rely on being able to run their own proprietary code (SDK) on your web properties, and use their own cookies to track users. As brands grow and add more services, more SDKs need to be added to your web properties, leading to increased development time, and slower performance.

mParticle has always made it easy for you to manage your third-party SDKs by enabling and configuring them via the mParticle dashboard, rather than by adding them directly to your codebase. In the past year, we have also increased support for forwarding data to our web partners via server-to-server (S2S) integrations, allowing you to completely remove supported partner’s SDKs from your web properties. See below for a full list of web integrations that support S2S forwarding.

This week, mParticle adds support for S2S forwarding of web data to Facebook. This feature is currently in early-access. Reach out to your mParticle account manager to enable this feature.

Benefits

1. Better performance
Moving data forwarding server-side reduces the size of your webpage, leading to faster page load times. It also reduces the amount of JavaScript code running on the page, and the number of HTTP roundtrips, so your web apps perform faster.

2. Reliability
Third-party code running in a browser is rarely 100% reliable. Browsers are increasingly engineered to thwart third-party data collection through cookie and ad blocking. Additionally, client-side code needs to be able to support multiple browsers across multiple versions. Server-side forwarding only has to work in one environment, and doesn’t require permission from third parties.

3. Data availability
Run calculations based on the entire history of data in your data warehouses and export the results to mParticle.

4. Activate on your insights
You may wish to forward data that can’t easily be collected with an SDK. For example, you may want to forward purchase data from a third-party ecommerce service, or attribution data from a marketing automation service. Server-side forwarding supports these use cases.

Considerations

There are a few gotchas to consider when forwarding web data server-side:

  1. Identifying users
    Many web analytics, marketing automation, attribution or advertising services rely on being able to use their own cookies to identify anonymous web traffic. Since anonymous users can account for around 90% of your total web traffic, it’s vital to be able to distinguish unique visitors, even when you don’t know who they are. mParticle considers this issue for each S2S integration we create and ensures that the appropriate identifier is passed on to the partner.
  2. Data mapping
    One advantage of using a provider’s SDK to send data directly from the browser is that the SDK automatically assigns an identity and sends data in the required format. Sending data about web activity S2S usually requires more time spent reading API documentation and writing custom code to get your data in the required format. mParticle customers can skip this step, as our server-side integrations take care of formatting standard data for you, and custom events can be mapped using our Custom Mappings feature.

How it works

In order to support S2S forwarding of web data to Facebook:

  • The mParticle SDK maintains a minimal client-side integration, limited to capturing the Facebook ID for the user.
  • For data not collected by the mParticle SDK, data can also be matched to Facebook users by email, and first/last name.
  • Custom mappings can be used to map any mParticle custom event to one of Facebook’s required event names. See the docs for a list of supported events.

Other supported partners

Interested in S2S forwarding to Facebook? This feature is currently in early-access. Contact us to learn more and enable this feature.

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