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Facebook Launches Atlas, Extending Ad Serving Reach Across The Web
Revamped challenge to Google's DoubleClick formally arrives.
Over the past few months, there have been a variety of stories about how Facebook intends to challenge Google across the internet using Atlas. That day has finally arrived. The company formally announced “the new Atlas.”
As previously discussed, Facebook/Atlas promises “people-based marketing” and measurement across device platforms and even offline. The following is from the Facebook/Atlas Solutions blog post this evening:
Atlas delivers people-based marketing, helping marketers reach real people across devices, platforms and publishers. By doing this, marketers can easily solve the cross-device problem through targeting, serving and measuring across devices. And, Atlas can now connect online campaigns to actual offline sales, ultimately proving the real impact that digital campaigns have in driving incremental reach and new sales.
Atlas has been rebuilt on an entirely new code base, with a user interface designed for today’s busy media planners and traffickers. Targeting and measurement capabilities are built-in, and cross-device marketing is easy with new ways of evaluating media performance centered on people for reporting and measurement. This valuable data can lead to better optimization decisions to make your media budget even more effective.
Atlas is not an “ad network.” It’s an ad-serving platform that enables media buyers and advertisers to “create, buy, measure and optimize digital campaigns . . . across devices and the entire internet, at massive scale – something that’s never been available before.” It thus challenges Google’s DoubleClick, which currently dominates display ad serving. Atlas seeks to do so by largely shunning cookies and offering audience-based targeting, including cross-device and offline measurement.
The precise targeting and measurement methodologies are not extensively discussed. Much of it likely involves background matching similar to what Facebook currently does with Custom Audiences. Facebook maintains that individual identities are never known by advertisers, just audience and interest segments.
Facebook said that agency holding company Omnicom has signed an “agency-wide ad serving and measurement partnership with Atlas.” Instagram will also use Atlas to “measure and verify ad impressions.” Atlas also announced a number of other partners. Among them are: Kenshoo, Marin Software, Social.com, Jivox, Celtra, Medialets, AdMarvel/OperaMediaworks, InMobi, Millennial Media and several others.
Facebook audience data will reportedly be used, among other data sources, in helping advertisers target audiences across the web. And the data that Facebook obtains from Atlas will have myriad reciprocal uses for the company as well.
Facebook acquired Atlas from Microsoft for an estimated $100 million in 2013. Microsoft had bought Atlas as part of a package with its then largest-ever acquisition of aQuantive (for $6 billion) in 2007.