- Facebook is beginning the process of shuttering ad serving on Atlas, which Facebook relaunched in 2014 after acquiring it from aQuantive and Microsoft, the company said in a blog post.
- The goal is to sharpen Atlas’ focus on measurement, which Facebook says it can provide more value for advertisers as consumers shift to mobile and more ads are served by publishers themselves instead of third parties.
- Atlas is positioned as offering people-based measurement and marketing that eschews tracking cookies in favor of measurement that can provide deeper insights into consumer behavior.
The news that Facebook is pivoting the focus of Atlas away from ad serving comes as the ad tech space continues to evolve. For example, publishers are increasingly disgruntled with ad tech vendors, thanks to the changing economics and lack of transparency in the space.
Facebook has also been struggling with the ad-serving side of Atlas for some time. Earlier this year, it shut down the demand-side ad buying platform it had been testing through Atlas because of low quality ads.
Facebook, which already has a difficult relationship with publishers, may be hoping to see an improvement on this front by eliminating ad serving on Atlas.
At the same time, measurement is a growing concern in the industry. While Facebook has had its issues in this area with disclosures of overestimated video views as well as several other miscalculations, the company also believes it offers some strengths on the measurement front on which it can further capitalize. With this in mind, Facebook will look to better integrate Atlas with its other measurement platforms.
More than 300 advertisers have run measurement campaigns with Atlas in the past 18 months, including Airbnb and State Farm. The insights from brands’ Atlas-measured campaigns has helped them drive results and generate business value, per Facebook.
Facebook reports that the top requests from advertisers when it comes to measurement are more capabilities, more features and more actionable insights, offerings the company is likely to make a priority going forward.
The news follows other developments such as Facebook combining its Atlas and Marketing Sciences teams to form a central measurement group for overseeing in-house tools alongside the platform’s partnerships with more than 20 third-party measurement companies.
Facebook clearly views measurement as an important way forward, with the company having laid out a comprehensive plan for improving the accuracy of its measurements several days ago.