As the second-largest digital advertising platform in the world, Facebook is able to track its 1.3 billion users on desktop platforms and mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and more. By using Facebook’s user data, advertisers will be able to do the same. This week, Facebook rolled-out Atlas, a revamped ad platform that gives user data to online marketing advertisers so they can direct targeted ads to each person via thousands of other websites and mobile ads across the internet.
With its new ad platform, will Facebook become the most direct challenge to Google yet?
It is quite possible. Even though Google is the leading digital advertising platform in the world, controlling one-third of the market, Facebook is planning on becoming the leading competitor with the new cross-platform advertising platform. If the roll-out proves to be a successful revenue stream, the company could offer online marketing advertisers a very attractive alternative to other proven ad networks run by Apple, Yahoo, Bing, and Google.
Atlas uses “people-based marketing” to track user performance across devices, weaving their actions together online and offline. By tracking each user’s actions and habits, online marketing advertisers can tailor personalized ads and promotions.
One of the first advertisers to sign up for the service was PepsiCo. The company wants to use the service to attract men between the age of 18 and 24 with ads promoting its newest soft drink, Mountain Dew Baja Blast. Atlas can target several million potential customers who may be interested in the new soft drink, based on the given data. When Potential customers login into their Facebook, or other websites and applications using the same Facebook login, they will see ads for the new soft drink.
Capitalizing on Personal Marketing
According to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the company is capitalizing on a huge shift in personalized marketing, especially with the increase in mobile search. Atlas presents a more efficient way for online marketing advertisers to target people with the right promotions. The platform is designed to target the right people, at the right time. As people reveal personal information on Facebook, Atlas can use that information to present new promotions based on the information they are given. For example, if someone makes a purchase at Vitamin Shoppe, and posts about it, he or she may see an ad for a related Vitamin Shoppe product on their newsfeed. Atlas also tracks what sites a person logged into using their Facebook credentials as well.
Concerns with Personal Data-Tracking Approach
Even though there is optimism for Facebook’s advertising prospects – considering the recent surge in stock price – there is concern regarding the extremely-detailed tracking of Facebook users even when they are not using the service. Facebook executives have put any concern with identity to rest as the company has ensured online marketing advertisers aren’t given access to any data beyond what is made available through privacy preferences. If Facebook users are concerned with privacy, we encourage users to change their Facebook settings so they do not reveal any more information than they want to.
Facebook has a proven track record of delivering strong results for advertisers via its social networking site. With Atlas, the company is ready to prove they can provide strong results via other websites and mobile applications.