Facebook will unveil a new advertising platform next week to improve the way marketers target users on its social networking website, a report said Monday. The new product, dubbed “Atlas,” is a redesigned version of Atlas Advertiser Suite, an ad management and measurement platform that Facebook purchased from Microsoft in 2013.
Atlas is expected to help marketers track Facebook users, who have seen, interacted or acted upon ads found on the social network as well as on third-party websites and apps. The new product, which will also offer a tool to allow marketers to buy ads to target Facebook users across the Internet, is considered to be the company's attempt to challenge Google’s dominance in the online ad segment, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
“What Facebook is doing is potentially more powerful than what Google can currently do,” Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategist at Paris-based Publicis Groupe, told the Journal, explaining the companies' current capabilities in targeting and tracking ads.
According to the Journal, Facebook will unveil the Atlas platform at the Advertising Week conference, which will kick off on Sept. 29 in New York. Facebook is expected to draw marketers’ attention toward the new service, while arguing that cookies are an outdated and faulty method for targeting and tracking online ads. Companies such as Facebook and Google currently use tiny programs, called "cookies" that sit on users' computers, to track the performance of online ads.
Although Facebook is expected to provide marketers with better services to target consumers, as well as more detailed and accurate information about their ad campaigns, industry watchers believe that the Menlo Park, California-based company still needs to do a lot more to catch up with the search engine giant. In the second quarter of 2014, Google reported ad revenue of $14.36 billion, while Facebook said it generated $2.68 billion in the same period, the Journal reported.
According to Facebook, the company has 1.5 million advertising customers and its ad business saw strong growth across the world in the second quarter of this year, Reuters reported, citing a company executive.