Face­book recent­ly pur­chased the Atlas Adver­tis­er Suite, a third par­ty track­ing sys­tem that allows users to drop cook­ies on cus­tomers through redi­rect URLs, thus allow­ing them to track behav­ior on any­one who clicks on their ads.

Atlas has been out­dat­ed for some time, although many adver­tis­ers con­tin­ue to use the plat­form because they have invest­ed so much in build­ing cook­ie pools with­in it. Hav­ing attempt­ed to use Atlas for large scale cam­paigns across search, dis­play and social media myself, I can tell you that Face­book engi­neers have their work ahead of them to update the plat­form as they pro­pose to do (). Hav­ing raised cap­i­tal in its IPO, how­ev­er, Facebook’s new­ly acquired oblig­a­tion to appease share­hold­ers may bring the moti­va­tion need­ed to take Atlas and Face­book to the next level.

Mash­able recent­ly post­ed an arti­cle explain­ing how Face­book is begin­ning to pitch adver­tis­ers on their abil­i­ty to lever­age Dat­a­logix data to match up cus­tomers to their pur­chase his­to­ry and allow adver­tis­ers to tar­get them. This, in com­bi­na­tion with Atlas tag­ging and Niel­son data, is set­ting the stage to make Face­book a major play­er in adver­tis­ing. This shift towards Google’s adver­tis­ing rev­enue mod­el will set the stage for seri­ous com­pe­ti­tion for dig­i­tal ad spend.

As it stands today, Google has estab­lished itself as a stan­dard for the dig­i­tal mar­keter. A Google AdWords cam­paign should be a first stop for any online adver­tis­er today; how­ev­er, Face­book may be in a posi­tion to chal­lenge this through more advanced tar­get­ing options and the con­ver­sion track­ing ben­e­fits that Google has intro­duced to the broad adver­tis­ing population.

With advanced tar­get­ing, comes the creepy fac­tor. Will pri­va­cy con­cerns of Face­book users grow enough to make a dif­fer­ence? It is hard to know but get used to see­ing com­plaints sim­i­lar to the one in this twit­ter user’s reply to Mashable’s post above:

Mashable Facebook Tweet

At the end of the day, Face­book has a long way to go. Their adver­tis­ing teams have a heavy focus on the large adver­tis­er and make it dif­fi­cult for small busi­ness­es with mod­est bud­gets to lever­age the major­i­ty of advanced tar­get­ing and track­ing options that are avail­able. Google has done a great job of enabling and empow­er­ing small busi­ness­es across the world with advanced adver­tis­ing capa­bil­i­ties. Until Face­book adjusts its sup­port and help cen­ter to enable this broad­er base of indi­vid­ual adver­tis­ers and mod­est sized agen­cies, they will have a hard time being seri­ous com­pe­ti­tion for Google.

by Omri Levin, Dig­i­tal Media Manager

Google