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Atlas has been outdated for some time, although many adver­tis­ers continue to use the plat­form because they have invested so much in build­ing cookie pools within it.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