Facebook knows what its users see, how they engage, what they’re interested in, who they talk to, what they talk about, and where they are when they talk about it. The social network then uses this information to show users contextual ads within their newsfeed. But with the launch of a reengineered version of the Atlas Advertising Suite the tech giant purchased from Microsoft in 2013, Facebook has begun drastically changing the online advertising world as we know it.
Google is still the reigning king of online ad placement with a reported revenue of $16.52 billion in the third-quarter of 2014 but Facebook generated $2.96 billion in the same period and has plans to give the search giant a run for its money with the launch of Atlas. But, what makes this platform so different from what Facebook is already doing with regards to advertising?
Here are two fundamental ways online advertising is going to change because of Atlas.
#1 No More Cookies Needed
The days of dropping in small pieces of code or “cookies” on a user’s computer will one day be a thing of the past. Yes, these cookies are still helpful with letting marketers know where or how a user has interacted with something on the web, but they can easily be deleted, therefore providing advertisers with incorrect information, especially from mobile devices. On average, cookies have a 59% tracking success rate, and according to executives on an Atlas launch panel, they overstate frequency by 41%.
Using Atlas, Facebook has fixed this problem by linking users’ ad interactions to their Facebook persistent ID rather than a cookie , which allows the social network to measure user activity on both desktop and mobile devices, including mobile conversion and desktop conversion tracking. It also allows mix modeling, which means marketers will now have a better understanding of how to allocate their budget across devices. Facebook already does this on its own service but will now be able to unleash the power of its sniper-like targeting capabilities to deliver ads across the entire web, in all mobile applications and on every device connected to it, rivalling the infrastructure of the likes of Google.
Imagine for a moment that a client or customer is interacting with a particular website or product. Facebook now knows everything about it and will start to show ads to that customer for that particular product in their newsfeed, in their mobile apps and throughout the entire web.
#2 Pinpoint Targeting Across All Devices
We all know that marketers crave information about their target markets. This platform is not only going to feed this craving and supercharge their understanding of what web users have seen, engaged with, or acted upon, but will also provide advertisers with an automated ad-buying tool that offers the ability to place ads as Facebook users move around on the web. Meaning there is no hiding from Facebook ads anymore. All user actions on the web, and personal information offered to Facebook will be taken into consideration and used for the purpose of strategic ad placement.
The biggest thing to take away from all this information is that what Facebook is doing is far more powerful than what Google has ever been able to do. Both ad platforms are effective but Facebook has drastically improved the science of information gathering and tracking. This company has figured out a way to follow users around like a digital ghost that places ads across all of their devices without ever giving them ability to delete the information that they once provided. It knows how its users think, how they feel, how they interact online, and most importantly, how to make them take actions they might not have normally taken.
What is your take on Atlas and the future of online advertising? Leave a comment below!