Facebook buys online ad business Atlas from Microsoft

1 Mar 2013

Social networking giant Facebook has acquired Microsoft’s Atlas ad serving and tracking business for an undisclosed sum. Various reports suggest the price to have been less than US$100m.

Facebook is working hard to grow and expand its US$4bn online advertising business and in particular is focused on growing the revenue it gains from mobile.

The social network said Atlas’ powerful platform, combined with Facebook partners Nielsen and Datalogix, will help advertisers compare their Facebook campaigns to the rest of their ad spend across the web on desktop and mobile.

Brian Boland, Facebook’s director of product marketing, explained that Facebook plans to improve Atlas’ capabilities by investing in scaling its back-end measurement systems and enhancing its current suite of desktop and mobile advertiser tools.

Better digital experiences for consumers

“Today’s marketing environment is much more complex than it was just a few short years ago. Marketers and agencies struggle to understand how their efforts across different channels complement and strengthen each other,” Boland explained.

“Consequently, they are forced to adopt siloed marketing strategies for each channel, leading to poor and inconsistent end-user experiences.

“This challenge also provides an opportunity. If marketers and agencies can get a holistic view of campaign performance, they will be able to do a much better job of making sure the right messages get in front of the right people at the right time.

“Atlas has built capabilities that allow for this kind of measurement, and enhancing these systems will give marketers a deeper understanding of effectiveness and lead to better digital advertising experiences for consumers,” Boland said.

Facebook image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years