Origami Frontend Components & Services

Readme: o-tracking

o-tracking is not maintained by the Origami team. This means that the Origami team will not necessarily be able to help you with support requests. The people who maintain this component may be able to offer support, but it's not guaranteed.

Include in your product to send tracking requests to the Spoor API.


Check out how to include Origami components in your project to get started with o-tracking.

Tracking without JavaScript

o-tracking does not work without JavaScript but, you can still send basic tracking requests to the Spoor API by setting a css background image url which points to the Spoor tracking pixel endpoint (https://spoor-api.ft.com/px.gif). Click events and other interactive events will not be tracked without JavaScript but basic page view events can be tracked.

The Spoor tracking pixel endpoint takes a data query parameter which is a url-encoded JSON string that represents the data to track in Spoor.

<div class="o-tracking o--if-no-js" data-o-component="o-tracking">
    <div style="background: url('https://spoor-api.ft.com/px.gif?data=YOUR_URL_ENCODED_JSON_DATA_HERE');"></div>

For example, if you have the following data you want to track in Spoor:

Recommendation: Using a different system.source value from the one used in o-tracking JavaScript mode will help your project be able to more easily group the data for those users without JavaScript. The example below uses the source o-tracking-fallback.

  "category": "page",
  "action": "view",
  "system": {
    "source": "o-tracking-fallback",
  "context": {
    "product": "ft.com",
    "content": {
      "asset_type": "page"

Here is the corresponding tracking pixel setup:

<div class="o-tracking o--if-no-js" data-o-component="o-tracking">
    <div style="background: url('https://spoor-api.ft.com/px.gif?data=%7B%22category%22:%22page%22,%20%22action%22:%22view%22,%20%22system%22:%7B%22apiKey%22:%22qUb9maKfKbtpRsdp0p2J7uWxRPGJEP%22,%22source%22:%22o-tracking%22,%22version%22:%221.0.0%22%7D,%22context%22:%7B%22product%22:%22ft.com%22,%22content%22:%7B%22asset_type%22:%22page%22%7D%7D%7D');"></div>

Tracking with JavaScript

Turning on offline support and queueing events

By default o-tracking uses the browser Beacon API to send events to Spoor and the Beacon API only works when the device is online and o-tracking can not queue those events.

If wanting to queue events (to retry them if they failed to send) and/or wanting to record events when offline, set queue to true during the intialisation of o-tracking like so:

import oTracking from '@financial-times/o-tracking';

const config = {
    queue: true, // Make sure o-tracking stores the events on a local queue (this means o-tracking can work when the device is offline)

Developer/Test Mode

o-tracking has a development/test mode which will mark the events as test events, and also write to the console extra debugging information.

To activate the mode, set test to true during the intialisation of o-tracking like so:

import oTracking from '@financial-times/o-tracking';

const config = {
    test: true, // Mark the events as test events and turn on extra debug logging.

o-tracking also has a test-data mode to mark events as test events without the debugging information in the console:

import oTracking from '@financial-times/o-tracking';

const config = {
    test_data: true, // Mark the events as test events without extra debug logging.



To manually instantiate o-tracking, import the component and call the init method with configuration which is specific to your product:

import oTracking from '@financial-times/o-tracking';

const config = {
    context: {
        // This value is used as a way to identify the high-level product, for example: ft.com, FT app, biz-ops etc.
        product: 'o-tracking-example',

To track a page view for the product you call the oTracking.page method.
Page events automatically track the url and the referrer.
Please refer to the event document for information about all the possible properties which can be set.

const pageConfig = {
  content: {
        Asset type is meant to describe the main purpose of the page
        The value can be one of these:
        - `story` - A story or article
        - `blog` - A blog post
        - `front` - A home page or front page
        - `ad` - An advert.
        - `image` - An image
        - `interactive` - An interactive graphic
        - `report` - A special report
        - `search` - A search results page
        - `section` - A section or listing page
        - `topic` -  A topic landing page
        - `video` - A video page
        - `login` - Any login/sign-in page
        - `stream` - A stream page
        - `funnel` - Any funnel page
        - `epaper` - all epaper pages
        - `rankings` - A rankings page for schools and courses (i.e. on rankings.ft.com). Not the section's hub page
        - `markets` - Any market, bond, commoditity, stock, currency 'tearsheet' (usually has "/tearsheet/" in URL)
        - `myft` - All MyFT pages
        - `account` - All account pages
        - `membership` - All membership pages
        - `page` - anything else, not above.
    asset_type: "story"

Call the oTracking.click.init method to track click events. Pass the category you would like the click events to have as an argument:

Please refer to the event document for information about all the possible properties which can be set.

// Tracking a click
const category = 'element';

Note: The attribute data-o-tracking-skip-queue is no longer used, it is now the default behaviour.*


To track when an element has come into view of the user, add the attribute data-o-tracking-view to the element in the page and then call the oTracking.view.init method:

Please refer to the event document for information about all the possible properties which can be set.

const opts = {
    category: 'audio', // default: 'component'
    selector: '.o-teaser__audio', // default: '[data-o-tracking-view]'
    getContextData: (el) => {  // default: null
        return {
            componentContentId: el.getAttribute('data-id'),
            type: 'audio',
            subtype: 'podcast',
            component: 'teaser'


To track a custom event call the oTracking.event method. For example to track that a video is played:

const eventConfig = {
    "category": "video", // optional
    "action": "play", // optional

The event method also accepts an optional callback which is run after the event has been processed.

const eventConfig = {
    "category": "video", // optional
    "action": "play", // optional
oTracking.event(eventConfig, () => {
  console.log('The custom video event has been processed!');

Please refer to the event document for information about all the possible properties which can be set.


Instead of calling the page and event methods o-tracking can be configured to capture events based on the custom DOM Events oTracking.page and oTracking.event.


Call the oTracking.page.init() method to listen for oTracking.page events:

// Tell o-tracking to listen for `oTracking.page` events

// Now we can send page events and o-tracking will track the data within them.
const pageData = { content: { uuid: 'abc-123', barrier: 'PREMIUM' };
document.body.dispatchEvent(new CustomEvent('oTracking.page', { detail: pageData}, bubbles: true}));

To make o-tracking listen for oTracking.event events, you call oTracking.event.init():

// Tell o-tracking to listen for `oTracking.event` events

// Now we can send custom events and o-tracking will track the data within them.
const customData = { category: 'video', action: 'play', id: '512346789', pos: '10' };
document.body.dispatchEvent(new CustomEvent('oTracking.event', { detail: customData}, bubbles: true}));

How to track extra click data using data-trackable attributes

You can add extra information to o-tracking events by using the data-trackable and data-trackable-context-* custom attributes.


o-tracking will walk up the DOM to get the tree of elements with data-trackable attributes. For example, clicks to the list-item button below will result in an event that has this path recorded within it - header-menu country-selector china:-

<div data-trackable="header-menu">
        <div data-trackable="country-selector">
                <li data-trackable="china"><button>China</button></li>


To add extra context to events you may add custom attributes in the form: data-trackable-context-name="data" where name is the name of the extra context and data is the extra data.

For example, when the below anchor element is clicked, it will add extra event fields article_guid and article_source to the data being tracked.

<a href="https://www.ft.com/content/1234-1234-1234-1234"
    data-trackable-context-article_source="FINANCIAL TIMES">

How to view the data

Once you have sent data into Spoor, you can view the data via Looker.

The FT has a Slack channel named #ask-an-analyst where anyone can get help with Looker.

If you have never used Looker before, you will need to request access via this form.

To sign in to Looker:

Example implementations

Migration Guide

State Major Version Last Minor Release Migration guide
✨ active 4 N/A migrate to v4
⚠ maintained 3 3.1 migrate to v3
╳ deprecated 2 2.0.10 migrate to v2
╳ deprecated 1 1.7.2 N/A


If you have any questions or comments about this component, or need help using it, please either raise an issue, visit #origami-support or email Origami Support.


This software is published by the Financial Times under the MIT licence.

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GitHub: o-tracking@4.4.0