by Jennifer

08/10/2014

Internet Marketing

Will Cross-Device Tracking be Possible with Facebook Atlas?

Last week, Facebook made what could prove to be an important announcement for the digital advertising industry – the re-launch of Atlas, the ad platform bought from Microsoft in 2013.

Speculated to become a rival to Google’s Doubleclick, the new ad-serving platform which has been ‘re-built from the ground up’ promises advertisers the potential of reaching a highly targeted audience across an extensive network of websites outside of Facebook.

Unlike Doubleclick, which relies solely on cookies to target ads to users, Atlas combines cookies with Facebook audience data to serve ads to ‘real people’ who have a high propensity to convert. Atlas refers to this practice as ‘people-based marketing’.

What’s more, Atlas claims that through this new technology, it will be possible to tie up the user journey across devices – a conundrum that has been causing headaches for digital advertisers ever since people began using mobiles to access the internet.

By pulling data across devices, Atlas attributes a unique ID on a user level, making it possible to track individual journeys across multiple devices.

According to Econsultancy, the opportunity for mobile advertising spend relative to the amount of time people actually spend on mobile is worth £1.9bn in the UK, suggesting that a huge surge in mobile advertising spend will result if Atlas is able to successfully crack cross-device tracking.

Inevitably, there will be concerns about privacy, with many people expected to be none too pleased with having their data dished out. Facebook assures however, that user IDs are anonymous and true user identities are never disclosed to marketers.

We are certainly very excited by the news and welcome what looks to be a big step forward in tackling the challenge of cross-device measurement.

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