Matomo is not tracking social media traffic to website reliably


we’re using a self hosted Matomo instance. Version numbers as below:

Matomo version: 3.14.0
MySQL version: tba
PHP version: tba

We are measuring far lower number of visits coming from our Facebook advertising campaings than that is recorded by Matomo.

  • I know about this article and about this troubleshooting guide. All checked.
  • We are recording traffic an all pages.
  • We have an opt-out option for the Matomo cookie in use, which hides about 10% of all incoming traffic. We can deal with that…

… but the differences between what is shown by Facebook ads manager’s outbound clicks figures is far more than what we see in Matomo. For a definite period, there were 6322 outbound paid clicks recorded by Facebook (and may have been even more with organic traffic), but only 765 visits were recognised by Matomo coming from Facebook (on the ‘All Channels’ overview page). That’s a huge, 8 times difference (or even larger if we count organic too).

With UTM tagging during the same period there were 4123 outbound paid clicks coming from Facebook, but there were only 370 visits coming from FB registered by Matomo under the “Campaigns” section. It’s an incredible 11 times difference. If I check a specific UTM code on both sides, it’s the same ratio (eg. 878 vs 82).

Due to our company policy, we can’t use Facebook pixel to directly measure “website visits” conversions in Facebook Ads Manager. So this is not an option to double check these figures.

What may be the problem and how to deal with it?

Hi Clue,

Not a real solution but just one point where you mit get some diffs from: I recognized that Matomo isn’t able to track the source of users coming from iOS apps from Facebook (Instagram and Facebook apps) in general. For example: If User a visits your website within instagram on an Android device, you will get as Source “Instagram”/Social Media. If a users visits your website within instagram on an iOS device, you will get as Source “Direct access”. A few months ago I’ve read an article about it (can’t find it anymore sry) where they have written that this is not a problem by Matomo itself, iOS just simply does not fordward the origin to your website if the user clicks on a link within an app(or matomo as a tracking solution) in general. I could imagine that the same thing applys for an add on facebook. Hope this information helps you to get further.