In this article, the difference between postbacks and pixels is explained.


Q - What are Postbacks?

A - Postbacks are events that occur when the web page is sent to retrieve the requested information from the server side and post the retrieved information back to the source of the request to mark the completion of an event/activity.

To sum it up it is a way where servers exchange and track information of the user’s actions on the server/web.

There are two types of postbacks:

  1. Install Postback: This postback is hit when and if the install attribution is achieved.

  2. In-App Postback: This is hit when the user performs an in-app action/event post-installation. 

Postback tracking is also known as server-to-server tracking.

Q - What are Pixels?

A - Pixels or tracking pixels are a form of HTML code linked with the URL of a landing/offer page which gives us information about the user actions like webpage visits, ad impressions, and conversion data along with other similar attributes.

Q - Difference between Pixel and Postback?

A - Both Pixel tracking and Postback tracking have pros and cons but the most reliable method of tracking is via postback URL tracking method.

Difference between Pixel and Postback:

  • Pixels are quick and easy to set up and implement, just a set of HTML codes placed on the landing page, while in Postbacks, the parameters are passed through the URL and hence it is extremely important to pass and note the correct parameters.

  • Using Pixels, at times the data tracked is unreliable because they are saved as cookies on the user end and the user can clear cookies as and when they like. With the cookies stored on the local cache, once deleted, the tracked data is no longer available.

 While for S2S tracking, cookies do not play a significant role.

  • For Pixels, every code has to be unique for every affiliate partner which will make the landing page only heavier whereas, for Postbacks, just a URL is appended with necessary parameters.

  • At times, Pixels do not fire and hence no tracking is possible for such cases whereas, for Postback if the URL has been appended with the correct parameters, every conversion shall be recorded.

  • In case a postback does not work properly, error logs are available and the same can be checked for any discrepancies but for Pixels no such error log is available.