Atlas by Facebook Cross-Device Advertising

Compelling advertising experiences will be centered around the user.
Relevance will be the Holy Grail; user experience will be king. 

– Tom Phillips, Microsoft

These words were written in February 2013 when Microsoft decided to sell Atlas to Facebook for a rumored $100 million dollars. For those who have not heard of Atlas, “Atlas is a digital ad server and measurement platform for marketers and agencies, providing one place to manage, deliver, measure and optimize digital campaigns” (Atlas Advertiser Suite Facebook).

Obviously Facebook could find a lot of use for this, but while there has been speculation about the relaunch of an external ad network from the social media giant – there has been little progress.

Until yesterday.

Announced on September 29th, Atlas was rebuilt with the ability to provide people-based marketing. This type of marketing is straying away from the standard cookie-based marketing, and instead ties the user profile to the behavior with advertisements.

While there hasn’t been a lot of detail on how exactly this is being done, it is assumed the contextual ads you see on your News Feed based on your personal information will be available through Atlas for third-party apps and websites. Atlas claims this technology will better track the interactions with ads across devices. This is to say, an advertiser will be able to analyze when one user moves from smartphone to tablet to desktop to store with ease and accuracy.

Forbes gave us a peek into what the dashboard may look like:

Forbes - Atlas Dashboard Image

Many believe this is exciting for advertisers, but scary for users.

As a Facebook user, I am familiar with advertisements following me around the internet. I visit a shoe website once, and I can count on there being side-bar ads or boosted posts about the shoe on Facebook within seconds. While most find it annoying, they deal with it because they understand money makes the world go ’round (and that they can just clear their cookies at the end of the day). Though with this new technology, privacy controls slip away even further; and it can be a bit unsettling.

For the Facebook advertiser, the relaunch is nothing but music to the ears. Atlas can help their company better understand the purchasing journey with cross-device advertising. The ad platform can overcome the barrier of mobile devices unable to track cookies to provide a more accurate way to track consumers. And it can enhance how a company can build their brand on social platforms to generally provide a better, more targeted user experience.

Utilizing Atlas’ services would also mean access to their partners, who play in the categories of paid search, social advertising, and video, and rich media. This accessibility means seamless advertising across a variety of marketing platforms.

Day-by-day we will learn more about the capabilities Atlas will provide the social media advertiser and the social media user; but from what we can tell, this is an exciting tool that can help social media marketing get closer to reaching the one-to-one message – versus a one-to-many message – all marketers should be striving to achieve.

What do you see for the future of advertising with Atlas? Share with us in the comments!

About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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