Facebook is currently already using the information they gather on their site to tailor your user experience by showing you ads associated with your habits. Atlas will take this a step further by allowing Facebook to use outside information from third-party apps and websites.
Atlas was a program developed by Microsoft and sold to Facebook for a reported $100 million. This is why Facebook is technically relaunching Atlas to enable marketers to better target ads across multiple different devices. The goal is to give marketers a better tool for targeting and creating a better end-user experience as well.
How different is Atlas versus what Facebook is currently using? For starters Facebook is currently only using cookies to track website for ad targeting. This is a problem however as cookies do not work on mobile devices. Facebook could just tailor ads based on a users Facebook habits, but to give marketers a better overall picture Atlas will allow them to get feedback from multiple places.
Atlas will be a very powerful marketing tool. It will eventually have the ability to track whether a product was bought on a desktop after being seen on a mobile device app. It will enable marketers to use email addresses to track purchases and previous traffic and essentially fill in the gaps between online and offline.
The next step for Atlas will be to stand as Facebook’s purchasing platform closely on the tail of Twitter’s announcement of it’s Buy Button. They are saying that they will be anonymously tracking individuals so identities will be protected. We will see if this holds true as we know most companies eventually get thrown money to buy this valuable information that Facebook will now be harvesting.
In my perspective I think this is what Facebook needed to keep it current in the on going fight for Social Media supremacy. Marketers already get a large bang for their buck through Facebook and now with Atlas they’ll get even more. This may also give google a run for its money (pun intended) as it may begin to catch up to the internet marketing king.
For the real end-user experience that is always the “cause” for such innovative inventions, we will have to wait and see. It sounds, in theory, good that you would be seeing ads for things that you’d be interested in right? Time will tell if Atlas will be harmful or helpful to the everyday Facebook users experience but for now it sounds like a marketers dream application!