We've known for quite some time, at least based on rumor, that Facebook would acquire the Atlas ad platform from Microsoft. The rumors heated up this week, and today, the company has finally made the official announcement.
"We’re focused on improving marketers' ability to measure how well their ads perform and believe this acquisition will allow marketers greater ability to measure the ROI of their ads for all their digital media spend," a spokesperson tells WebProNews. "Ultimately, Atlas’s 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."
"Today's marketing environment is much more complex than it was just a few short years ago," says Brian Boland, Facebook’s Director of Product Marketing. "Marketers and agencies struggle to understand how their efforts across different channels complement and strengthen each other. 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," he adds. "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."
As Boland points out, a lot of marketers that advertise on Facebook are already using Atlas, so it's familiar territory. It's been an approved partner for measurement since June.
Atlas clients won't see any change in service, according to Facebook, who say it will continue to invest in the platform. The company says it does intend to scale its back-end measurement systems and enhance its current suite of tools on desktop and mobile, and plans to make improvements to the user interface and functionality.
Microsoft senior director of communications, Microsoft Advertising, Tom Phillips, says, "Our reasons for wanting to sell Atlas are really pretty simple: the time was right; the agreement allows us to focus more aggressively on the evolving vision we have our digital advertising business; it was mutually beneficial to both parties; and we feel that Facebook will afford the Atlas business and employees the greatest opportunity for continued growth. Moreover, in no way does this announcement change or diminish our commitment to online advertising, in either display or search."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.