Facebook relaunches Atlas for targeted ads

Facebook has re-launched Atlas – its new ad-serving and measurement platform – allowing marketers to target advertisements across multiple devices. Microsoft sold Atlas to Facebook in 2013 for an estimated $100 million and is offered to advertisers as a way of targeting the social network’s 1.3 billion users. With personal information already used to show contextual ads on individual News Feeds, Atlas now enables Facebook to utilise the same data on behalf of third–party apps and websites.

Up to now, Facebook’s existing ad technology has used cookies to track websites visited by people for ad targeting purposes, though these cookies do not work on mobile devices and are often inaccurate, rendering it a challenge for marketers to track the interests of consumers reliably. Atlas allows advertisers to target ads around ‘Likes’ and interests for third-party websites and apps, anonymously tracking individuals and bypassing the flawed cookie ad-serving and measurement technology.

“Atlas delivers people-based marketing, helping marketers reach real people across devices, platforms and publishers,” says Erik Johnson, Head of Atlas. “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. This valuable data can lead to better optimisation decisions to make your media budget even more effective.”

Global ad company Omnicom is Facebook’s first holding company to sign an agency-wide partnership with Atlas, and clients including Pepsi and Intel will be two of the largest brands to test out the Atlas platform. Initially, Atlas will be used exclusively for ad-serving and tracking, though Facebook has plans to set up Atlas as an ad purchasing platform in the future.


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