IOS 14 has created chaos for Facebook advertising. You’ve probably felt this throughout the year, but leading up to Q4, it adds a whole other layer of pressure. The advertising engine that drove much of your success has changed a lot this year.

The core issue with iOS 14 is that Apple is now blocking data from phone browsing behavior that Facebook leveraged for building advertising audiences. For example, if you sell pet products, Facebook used to be able to see if someone visited a website or read an article about dog food to determine if they would be interested in your products. It was simple at a high level once Facebook figured out how to mine all that data, and it generated billions for Facebook and eCommerce advertisers.

But that data is now no longer accessible to Facebook for the most part, which makes their targeting abilities much less effective. They’re working to solve it, but 1st party data directly from your website that can be used to target advertising is now much more important.

At, we run 24/7 live chat teams for over 100 stores. Live chat is a clear way that visitors show engagement. It’s possible to use live chat engagement as 1st party data to create lookalike advertising audiences for Facebook to drive more buyers to your website. In today’s post, we’re going to talk through how we’re doing this for our clients and how you can do the same (with a little technical wizardry).


Live Chat Shows Buying Intent

Remember, the reason why Facebook advertising worked so well in the past is that Facebook leveraged iPhone browsing behavior to determine buying intent. While you don’t have the amount of data every single iPhone in the world can provide, there are a few data points you can use on your website to feed Facebook to drive more similar visitors.

For example, when someone chats with you on your website, they are interested in your products. This is especially true if you are using effective chat greetings to invite visitors to chat based on their browsing behavior on the site.

As you drive more and more chat volume, there will be similarities in interests between those visitors that Facebook can figure out. By feeding that audience data back to Facebook for each person that chatted, Facebook can do the leg work of recognizing patterns between them to build a lookalike audience of additional buyers. 

In short, live chat becomes a source of visitor engagement that can be the foundation for an advertising audience.

How to Push Chat Data To Facebook

Because the live chat conversations are happening directly on your website, you can track this activity and feed it back to Facebook as an event. That gets logged against the visitors’ Facebook profile just as Facebook used to do with their iPhone browsing behavior.

 The specifics of how to log event data back to Facebook for visitors that chat will vary depending on your chat software and website configuration, but it can typically be rigged up to work through Google Tag Manager with a skilled developer. 


Create Lookalike Audiences

Once Facebook starts to see many “chatted” events in your Facebook advertising pixel, you’ll be able to create audiences to advertise to a lookalike audiences based on these visitors.

As the volume of people in this audience grows, Facebook becomes better at identifying additional similar users to drive to your site through your ad campaigns. The process continues as people that come to the site chat with you and feed the algorithm better and better information about which visitors actually engage.


What’s Next to Get Started?

Obviously, you need to be using live chat in order to run ads against people that chatted. But you should also ensure you’re driving enough chat volume to make a strategy work.

This means having chat available during all business hours and ideally on nights and weekends.

Also, using chat greetings to effectively engage with visitors that are interested in your products is important. If you use greetings well, 70% of your chat volume will come from greetings.

We have this up and running for a few of our clients and are rolling it out to more right now. If you want to get on a call to talk about how this can work for you and how we drive sales directly with live chat, feel free to contact us at

Happy implementing!


Jon Tucker


Jon Tucker is CEO of HelpFlow, a provider of 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for 100+ eCommerce stores. Launched in 2015, their team of agents has produced nearly $100M in chat revenue for a wide range of stores using a conversion-focused approach to live chat.


Your Store Needs a 24/7 Live Chat Team


HelpFlow can drive sales by having our team of human agents available on live chat 24/7 to predict and save abandons before they happen, proactively reach out and engage with visitors via SMS and email after they abandon, and by answering visitor questions live on your website to convert visitors.