Facebook buying Microsoft

Facebook is acquiring Atlas Advertiser Suite, an ad analysis platform, from Microsoft Corp.

The logic behind the deal is that advertising agencies and businesses are having a difficult time measuring the performance of the campaigns across various channels and Facebook believes it can provide businesses the tools they need with its acquisition of Atlas.
Facebook’s acquisition of Atlas comes at a time when consumers are shifting Web browsing activities from computers to tablets and smart phones


“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,” Brain Boland, product marketing director for Facebook in a blog yesterday. “Acquiring Atlas will be an important step forward in achieving this goal.”

Details of the deal, which was announced yesterday afternoon, were not disclosed. The agreement comes at a time when most social networking platforms like Facebook are facing increasing pressure to increase ad revenues. Online marketers focused on desktops are also facing some challenges as consumers increasingly shift their Web browsing activities from computers to mobile devices.

Microsoft acquired Atlas in 2007 as part of its $6 billion purchase of digital marketing company eQuantive. Facebook and Atlas have been working together even before the deal.

Many marketers that advertise on Facebook today use Atlas, and Atlas has been an approved partner of Facebook for measurement since June, according to Boland

“Today’s announcement brings us closer together in a way that benefits both Facebook and Atlas’s agency and marketer clients,” he said.

Boland assured Atlas clients they will not see any changes to the service they receive and that Facebook will continue investing and developing the Atlas platform.

The acquisition could give advertisers who partner with Atlas an additional way of targeting customers outside Facebook, according to Dana Todd, senior VP of marketing and business development for Performics, a marketing agency in Chicago.

The deal also provides Facebook with a way to compete with search engine giant Google which uses DoubleClick to manage marketing campaigns, according to Dane Atkinson, CEO at marketing analytics firm SumAll.

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