Verify Your Custom Website Events

If you use custom events, you need to read this. Go to your Events Manager, and you may see this message to “Verify your custom website event(s).”

Verify Custom Website Events

The process isn’t difficult, but the question is… Why?

Let’s discuss…

What Are Custom Events?

First, a quick explanation. Not to be confused with custom conversions, custom events are conversion events (often on your website) that fall outside of Meta’s predefined standard events.

When someone performs these events, data is sent to Meta that can be used for ads reporting, optimization, and targeting.

Verify Your Events

As I write this, the requirement to verify custom events is rolling out. There are some minor differences in parameters during this initial rollout and what you’ll likely see after January of 2024.

That alert reads:

As part of Meta’s continuous system improvements, you must complete a one-time verification of custom website event(s) to confirm you intended to send the event to us. Unverified events will be discarded.

If you don’t see this at the top of your Events Manager, you may also see it on your Account Overview. You may also see a red notification alongside the events that need to be verified on the Overview page. If you don’t use custom events or you’ve already verified your events, you shouldn’t see the message at all.

When you click the “Verify” button, you’ll get a list of custom events to verify…

Verify Custom Events

Verifying means that you intended to send a specific event to Meta. My list does include events that I don’t recognize. It’s possible they were created by my dev team or they are somehow related to GA4. And there’s also the infamous “_missing_event” event.

Instead of going through this list, it may actually make more sense to go to the bottom half of the Events Manager Overview page and filter only your custom events during the past 28 days. There should be red notifications next to the events that need to be verified.

Verify Custom Events

Once you expand the event, you’ll see the “Verify Event” button.

Verify Custom Events

I found that the list at the top includes a bunch of events that I don’t use anymore. They’re either old and have been replaced or I set them up as a test. There are others that I don’t recognize at all. After that, whether or not you verify will be a personal choice.

There’s also a due date. All of my custom events have a verification due date for this initial rollout of January 16 at 11pm. As far as I’ve been able to confirm so far, this is the same due date that others have as well (date and time adjusted for time zone).

Once you create new custom events after this initial phase is complete, you will have 30 days since your event was first received to verify or it will be discarded.

How Verification Works

Here is Meta’s explanation of custom event verification:

Custom website events need to be verified in Meta Events Manager within 30 days of first being received. This is a one-time verification process to confirm that you intended to send the custom website event to us and usually allows you to use your events for advertising purposes such as in ad campaigns, custom conversions, custom audiences and lift studies. You don’t need to verify standard website events.

This doesn’t make a ton of sense based on the current process, but that could be because the process is changing.

We’ve never needed to verify custom events before. They were immediately available for use in ad campaigns, custom conversions, and custom audiences (I can’t confirm about lift studies). According to the passage above, that won’t be the case.

It doesn’t look like this will be enforced until the first due dates expire. At that point, when Meta receives a new custom event, you will be required to verify it — presumably before using it in ad campaigns, custom conversions, custom audiences, and lift studies. We can assume that the event will not be selectable as a conversion event in the ad set or within either custom conversions or custom audiences.

One question I’ve had is what will happen after the due date expires. My assumption is that if it hasn’t been used during the past 30 days, it will disappear from the verification list. If you’re still sending the event, I hope that you’ll get another alert to verify it again.

Otherwise, I don’t know how else to account for Meta just saying a custom event is “discarded.” You can’t ever use it again? If you want to, you just… can’t? If that were the case, you’d have to change the name of the event and start over again (which seems unnecessary).

But Why?

I’ve gotta be honest, I’m not particularly clear about why this is necessary. What problem does it solve? Are unauthorized third parties sending rogue custom events against your pixel? If they are, what’s the damage that this could cause?

The only potential benefit that comes to mind is related to the issue of custom events not appearing as selectable metrics when using columns until you’ve used them as optimization events. I even recorded a video on this recently.

Maybe, once you verify an event, it’s immediately available within your metrics — rather than requiring you to first optimize for it. That would make sense.

Maybe this is just about cleanup. Meta wants to discard data that isn’t used or needed anymore. And by verifying, you make it clear that you actually want to use an event.

Otherwise, I’m struggling to make sense of why this is necessary. But, I do know this: Some advertisers are going to miss the memo, and they are going to be confused when reporting stops and they can’t use the events like they normally do.

Watch Video

I recorded a video about this, too. Watch it below…

Your Turn

Have you received this alert? How are you deciding which custom events to verify?

Let me know in the comment below!