Blog Post

Can Facebook Change the Ad Game With Atlas and Mobile?


Facebook recently announced that they’re rolling out a new version of Atlas, an ad platform that was purchased from Microsoft last year. Adam and Chad wanted to elaborate on mobile ads, Atlas, and Facebook’s move in the direction of mobile. In this Daily Brown Bag, you’ll learn more information about Atlas, mobile advertising, Facebook’s pursuit of more ad revenue from mobile, how they plan to become very strong with mobile ads, and how Facebook is trying to make improvements to the overall advertising experience.

Also available on YouTube.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today we're going to be talking about Facebook's new roll out of Atlas. I'm Chad Hill and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Yeah, good afternoon, Chad and welcome to the Brown Bag. We did a Brown Bag a while ago, Chad, asking the question, "Will Facebook become the new Google of mobile?" I know everyone's been talking about how mobile is the direction. I know you've talked about it quite a bit. Google is, of course, very aware of this move towards mobile. Facebook is really trying to leverage some of the assets they have to become very strong with mobile ads. They've done quite well with mobile, Chad, because of their ability to target people and because they have such amazing personalized data, the social graph and who hangs out with who.

This is a new announcement today, Chad. Facebook is announcing that they're rolling out a new version of Atlas. For those who don't remember, this is an ad platform that was purchased from Microsoft last year and now Facebook is bringing some improvements to the Atlas platform and pushing those out in their further pursuit of more ad revenue from mobile. What are they talking about and why is this exciting? Why should we care, Chad? Well, they're saying this is people-based marketing, I guess, and they're trying to make some improvements to the overall advertising experience. You probably know more about the technical details than I do.

Yeah, definitely and I think that the big thing here is that Atlas is not as cookie-based as DoubleClick. DoubleClick was one of the early pioneers in online advertising. They built up a very impressive platform and then Google bought it a number of years ago. Really, that whole platform was built around these cookies that are dropped off people's computers, which was fine when you were primarily using one computer. As people have started to have to live in these multi-screen worlds through a desktop computer, a tablet, their mobile phone and actually starting transactions on one and finishing them on another, it has become increasingly hard for those companies to really track the end-to-end performance of their ads.

Along comes Atlas and I think we all feel and know the convenience of sometimes logging in with our Facebook IDs on different websites just to have to avoid having to remember another username or password. One of the great benefits for Facebook in that is that they actually know who you are across lots of different devices. They know who you are on your mobile phone, they know who you are on your desktop computer and on your tablet. What they're able to do is because you've logged in and you have this profile, they can watch what you're doing and try to connect these dots. That's really the big innovation here is that, as these cookies become less and less effective, what Atlas is doing is sort of rolling out a new way to put all the different pieces together.

Some might say, "Is this going to push DoubleClick out of the way?" Probably not, is my guess, because right under that Facebook login with your Facebook ID, there is a login with your Google Plus or your Google account and so Google has the same thing. They're more and more knowing when you're on your computer at work searching or using Gmail or some other application on your mobile phone. They're able to put these same profiles together. My guess is that Atlas may be the first and latest and greatest one to have this and it certainly is going to give Facebook some great new opportunities in mobile, but I'm sure that Google and others, probably Google will catch up and offer some of these same features at some point in the near future.

That's very interesting, Chad. There's your headline: "Facebook Atlas is the Death of All Cookies." That, I think, is not really the case. You're right. I think Google will innovate very quickly and we'll see what they come up with for mobile advertising. There's certainly a lot of money in this mobile space and we know they're chasing it. That's our coverage today on. We want to thank you for being at our Brown Bag. Drop us a comment or better yet, share this video or subscribe. We'll see you tomorrow.