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Atlas to Transform the Future of Facebook Advertising [UPDATE]

Facebook has released more information on Atlas. Companies can now sign up to be selected to have access to the platform. They have also released a video explaining the platforms capabilities at http://atlassolutions.com/

Facebook may have finally found its game changer.

Untouchable Google could face a loss in market share if everything goes as planned for Facebook and its somewhat new toy Atlas. While Facebook stockholders may be drooling over the implications, marketers are salivating at new ways to reach potential customers.

It started this week, when Facebook announced a new advertising platform that will help marketers run more effective Facebook ad campaigns. Facebook had previously purchased the platform Atlas from Microsoft for $100 million. After a year of being revamped, the big unveil has arrived. So, how does Atlas change things?

Facebook is calling it “people-based” marketing or, in more simple terms, knowing categorical data about people without ever knowing their identities. Atlas has the power to collect data from Facebook and use it on external sites. All of the data collected through the platform is based off an individual’s activity on Facebook. The activity includes pages liked, interests, age and gender. Also, it includes any time a person has used ‘login with Facebook’ on specific apps or websites. This data helps advertisers to better identify qualified buyers.

The first tests of the platform are being done with the media buying agency Omnicom, with brands like Pepsi and Intel.

The tracking system that Facebook had before was data of a person’s Internet activity through cookies. Many would agree that cookies alone are not an effective way to measure data, especially because they aren’t effective on mobile. Now more so than ever, mobile has become the preferred way for people to be online. With Atlas, this data will become more accessible to advertisers and help their targeting become more effective.

Let’s say that a 29-year-old woman in Charlotte “likes” the Starbucks Facebook page. This data is then collected through Atlas, and Starbucks can target that woman and women like her with ads on non-Facebook websites. Holidays are a big time for Starbucks, when they announce their many flavors. If Starbucks wants to target women ages 18-35 who love Peppermint Mocha Lattes, Facebook will now be able to do so – more effectively, especially on mobile – by using the Atlas platform and serving those ads to potential customers.

So, what is to come in the future for Internet marketers? Our prediction is that this will increase click-through rates, conversions and sales for companies. This also means learning more about your customers and their activity. Atlas is able to track offline sales of people who purchase after being served these ads.

While Google still has nearly five times as many earnings as Facebook when it comes to advertising, with this new platform and their strategic planning, Facebook could be well on the way to catching up.

We are continuing to keep a close track of when this will become available to all advertisers. (It should be imminent.) As marketers, we are very excited about this new development and hope to see great success in future campaigns for our clients.

We want to know, what are your thoughts on Atlas, and will it truly change the game?