Facebook will reportedly launch a new online ad service next week that will track users across the web, letting brands target them on the social network based on their internet habits.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the new platform marks Facebook’s attempt to offer an alternative to Google’s DoubleClick display advertising platform.
Dubbed Atlas according to the Journal’s sources, the platform will be based on the Atlas Advertising Suite, which Facebook bought from Microsoft in 2012.
Atlas will let advertisers and agencies to buy, sell, optimise, and track ads across the Web, helping brands better understand how social activity influences consumer purchases.
Facebook already owns vast amount of consumer data, so this new ad platform could provide huge value for marketers looking to get more relevancy and reach for the ad budgets.
Facebook is already plugged into a huge number of websites through Facebook Login, and each time people share or “like” an item on a site, this boosts the social network’s data trove.
Facebook can connect that data with the information from within Facebook — the social graph — to create a social ad network that is potentially more effective than Google’s AdSense.
Competitive ad market requires better solutions
The deal comes as Facebook trails a distant second to Google in the US ad market. The Google is expected to capture 31.45% of the market’s revenue this year, according to estimates by market analyst eMarketer.
While Facebook was expected to register the largest market share increase this year among US companies in the survey, the social network was still expected to be a distant second with 7.8 percent of a market estimated to be worth $140 billion.
Facebook counts 1.5 million advertising customers and the company’s ad business saw strong growth across all of its geographic regions, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in July.
Mobile advertising revenue grew 151% year-over-year, accounting for roughly 62% of Facebook’s overall ad revenue in the second quarter.
Facebook is also reportedly in talks to provide Nielsen with data from major publishers to improve ad tracking.
Facebook already brings in a lot of money from advertising, seeing a 50.5% increase in growth in their US mobile ad revenue last year while Google only enjoyed a 33.3% growth rate.