ReaderLinks links with Facebook and iOS14


We have been working on various options to make sure ReaderLinks links won’t be rate-limited by Facebook due to the iOS14 update rules by Apple. Read more about the development here. These are issues imposed upon ReaderLinks (and Facebook, frankly) by Apple. If Facebook is able at some point to get Apple relax these requirements, we’ll update our technology accordingly.

Our primary goal is to make sure the links don’t get rate-limited by Facebook due to pixel limitations imposed by Apple.

We have come to the following conclusions:

  • We can no longer fire off Facebook pixels from ReaderLinks Links (meaning the readerlinks.com specific links) on mobile devices that are using Apple iOS14 or higher. All other operating systems will still be supported, including MacOS (unless Apple squashes that, too), Android, Windows, Google, etc.
  • Anyone who wishes to continue having the pixels fire off for iOS14+ devices, while still tracking through ReaderLinks, will need to use the ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin. By doing so, you’ll be able to fire the pixel from your own website directly.

For details, please read below…


 Note that we’re only going to mention Facebook ads here, but it pertains to any place you want to run ads from. Also, for simplicity and clarity, we’ll just mention the ads going to Amazon, but it can be to wherever you direct your ads.

Differences between link types

  • When we say “ReaderLinks Links” we are talking specifically about the links used in the format of readerlinks.com/l/1234 
  • A ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin link would be based on your website address, such as johnplogsdon.com/l/1234

Impact of different link types

ReaderLinks Links

When you use a ReaderLinks Link, it’s fast, typically taking less than 500 milliseconds to start the transfer over to Amazon. 

This is the best link style to use for ads that you want to track and have GEO linking attached to. 

ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin Links

When you use a ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin link, it’s slow. It may take 3 – 7 (sometimes more) seconds before the actual transfer over to Amazon. The reason for this is because WordPress is slow. Every plugin that you have installed on your WordPress site must be loaded before anything can happen. So the more plugins you have installed, the slower your site will be. 

This is not a good link to use for Facebook advertising because it’s slow. Facebook will actually track the time and will limit your ad by serving them only to people they feel will be willing to wait for the site to finally load.

Recommended Options for Facebook Ads

The following are the recommended option in order from highest recommendation to lowest.

  • Use ReaderLink Links, recognizing iOS 14+ devices will not launch a pixel. This will get your clicks to their final destination, geolocated and tracked, the fastest way possible. We recommend this one because the most important thing is to get the reader to the book page. Because this is the fastest way to the book page, Facebook will show this ad to more people.
  • Use the ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin in conjunction with the Facebook Pixel on your own site. The reader only has to click once, your WP site will fire the pixel, the link will be tracked and geolocated. While not ideal due to WordPress being slow, this will allow you to get your pixel fired off. Do note that Facebook will likely limit ad distribution, though.
  • Link your ad directly to your site. Once the reader clicks, they’ll be able to read the page on your site and click from there to get to the final destination using a ReaderLinks Link. Your site can fire off the pixel and the RL Link will still track and do geolocation delivery. It’s still slow since WordPress has to load, so Facebook will likely limit your distribution. Worse, it requires that your reader click more than once before getting to the actual sales page.

Connecting the ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin

If you can’t live without those iOS14 pixels and therefore decide to use the ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin, you’ll need to do three things:

  • Firstly, go to the ReaderLinks settings menu item and select the WordPress Plugin item. Follow the instructions very carefully on that page.
  • Secondly, you’ll need to install the Facebook WordPress Pixel Tool. We do not support this as it’s a Facebook product. Here is the link with instructions for you: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/881403525362441
  • Lastly, to be compliant with the Facebook system as it relates to the iOS 14 update, you’ll want to register your domain in the Facebook ads manager. Again, this is not something we support, so you should contact your web host provider or site administrator for assistance. Here is a link to the Facebook help file: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/286768115176155?id=199156230960298

If you have any issues with the ReaderLinks WordPress Plugin, please open a support ticket with us describing the issues you’re having. Please note that we will very likely need access to your WordPress site to diagnose the issue. If that’s a problem, we will have difficulty in assisting you.

Common problems include:

  • Not inputting the proper author ID.
  • Not naming the page exactly as it is listed in the tool. (Note it is case-sensitive).
  • If the Facebook Pixel isn’t firing before the redirect, the pre-delay is probably not long enough. We usually suggest starting between 250-350ms and increasing by 50ms until you find the sweet spot.

NOTE: The WordPress solution only works on hosted WordPress sites, not wordpress.com sites or any other service.






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