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Facebook gives internet marketing companies new ways to target users


Facebook gives internet marketing companies new ways to target users

Social site Facebook has reinvigorated its Atlas advertising platform, which it acquired for $100m (£60m) in 2013.

The updated version will implement Facebook’s user-targeting algorithms, but will allow the adverts to be streamed to websites and apps not associated with the Facebook platform. This change is likely to prove popular with internet marketing execs seeking to extend their advertising from the world’s biggest social media platform.

The move by Facebook to broaden the reach of its advertising potential marks a significant change in its strategy. Until the Atlas update, Facebook was limited to advertising within its core platform, which meant it struggled to attract millions of users to its own provision. The revamped Atlas allows for the tracing and targeting of users not operating within the platform – something it had previously been unable to do. This change puts the company in competition with Google’s Display Network.

Atlas’ update facilitates the use of subscriber IDs, meaning it will track user-oriented data as opposed to data mined by cookies. This gives Atlas an advantage due to the ineffectiveness of cookies on mobile devices. As such, Atlas can offer an advantage in the tracking of users who switch between devices, platforms and publishers throughout the day.

Whilst the Atlas makeover complies with privacy rules, there is still some risk that regulatory bodies and customers will revolt against the personal nature of the tracking and targeting of Atlas.

Atlas will undoubtedly improve Facebook’s position amongst the major online advertising players, and it is highly likely there will be more changes from Amazon and Google et al as they respond to Facebook’s Atlas ad service.

Alan Littler

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