Talking tech since 2003

Facebook just acquired Atlas from Microsoft, reportedly for a sum under $100 million, which is quite the deal for Facebook.  This is especially true because Atlas is the missing puzzle piece that Facebook needs in order to help ensure its long-term success in the advertising world.  Right now, Facebook needs to prove itself to advertisers — they need to be able to provide metrics that show that Facebook ads work better than the competition (yes, that means Google).  And as of this moment, there really isn’t a good way for them to show that to anyone, but there will be now thanks to Facebook’s Atlas acquisition.  However, it may take a while.

If you read the press release about the acquisition, Mr. Boland of Facebook says, “We plan to improve Atlas’ capabilities by investing in scaling its back-end measurement systems and enhancing its current suite of advertiser tools on desktop and mobile. We will also work to improve the user interface and functionality with the goal of making Atlas the most effective, intuitive, and powerful ad serving, management and measurement platform in the industry.”   These are all things that need to be done, as Atlas has essentially been forgotten about at Microsoft for quite some time now.  But again, it’ll take a lot of time, most likely months for Atlas to be at that level.

However, once Atlas reaches that level, it will help advertisers compare their Facebook campaigns to the rest of their ad spend across the web on desktop and mobile.  These kinds of comparisons are very important in the ad-world, it determines where money is spent and how much.  And for Facebook’s sake, they better hope they do better than everyone else.  If they do, that means they’ll be able to charge more for their ads and also be able to serve up Facebook ads on web properties they don’t own, which is going to be a major key to their success long-term and something I discussed in detail in the past.

Facebook’s Atlas acquisition could be as big as Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick.  It has huge potential positive implications for the company.

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