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Facebook Cements Online Ad Presence with New Venture

Facebook Cements Online Ad Presence with New Venture


In its quest to ramp up its advertising offering, global social media network Facebook has gulped up Microsoft’s somewhat shaky Atlas Advertiser Suite.

For an undisclosed amount, Microsoft has finally loosened the reins on the digital-advertising service and has sold to Facebook – which has now revealed big plans to invest further into its advertising tools on desktop and mobile.

In an attempt to catch-up with Google and increase revenues from search-related advertising, Microsoft purchased Atlas’ parent company aQuantive for $6.3 billion in 2007. However, Microsoft wrote down almost the entire value of the deal last year.

A Good Deal?

Whether or not the move was an attempt to wind down the unsuccessful purchase, or to really allow it to ‘dedicate even more energy and resources to other core fields’, Facebook seems happy enough, and probably got a good deal.

Facebook’s product marketing director, Brian Boland, said as Atlas is a leader in campaign management and measurement for marketers and agencies, the acquisition will benefit both marketers and users.

“Ultimately, Atlas’s powerful platform, combined with Nielsen and Datalogix, will help advertisers close the loop and compare their Facebook campaigns to the rest of their ad spend across the web on desktop and mobile,” Boland said.

“Our belief is that measuring various touch points in the marketing funnel will help advertisers to see a more complete view of the effectiveness of their campaigns.”

Cash Injection

Boland said by enhancing and investing in Atlas’ capabilities, this will give marketers a deeper understanding of effectiveness and lead to better digital advertising experiences for consumers.

Facebook will also work to improve the user interface and functionality with the goal of making Atlas ‘the most effective, intuitive, and powerful ad serving management and measurement platform in the industry’.

Microsoft’s senior director of communications, Tom Philips, said the deal in no way changes or diminishes Microsoft’s commitment to online advertising, in either display or search.

“At the time of the (aQuantive) acquisition, Microsoft was in a race to build a single ad technology platform and tools stack that would become a marketplace where first and third party online advertising entities could conduct their business, either in pieces or holistically,” Philips said.

“That vision of a singular ad technology and tools platform, however, became more challenging given significant changes in the industry ecosystem, technology platforms and content consumption.

Philips went onto explain how the company needed to ‘sharpen’ its focus and concentrate on identifying, building and executing things that are core to its vision for the future.

Atlas will continue to be based in Seattle.

Interested in more of the latest developments in performance marketing across the globe? A huge array of delegates from global programme managers and directors, to vice presidents and C-level executives, will be attending the Performance Marketing Insights Conference in New York this March. The two-day event takes place at the prestigious Crowne Plaza Hotel in central Manhattan from March 12-13. For more information visit Performance Marketing Insights.

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Pippa Chambers

Pippa Chambers

Freelance News Journalist at PerformanceIN - working to source the latest and breaking news in performance marketing. 

From newspapers to national B2B magazines and technology reporting, I have covered a variety of genres. NCTJ/NCE qualified.

Please email me at and follow me @PippaC1

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