Facebook's Atlas Update: Is It Now A DSP?

One of the recurring topics during coffee breaks at this year’s Advertising Week New York was Facebook’s recent relaunch of Atlas, the ad server it bought from Microsoft in 2013. And one of the recurring questions about the relaunch was: “Is Atlas now a DSP (demand-side platform)?”

The relaunch was a power play on Facebook’s part to compete with Google and AOL for digital ad business. A MediaPost VidBlog post noted that the improved Atlas “will allow advertisers to track its ads across the Internet, even on non-Facebook sites, and will also also help advertisers buy those ads -- and make it all that much better by letting advertisers use Facebook data to arrive at their decisions.”

Yet few knew exactly where the new Atlas fell on the “LUMAscape” spectrum. But Adam Berke, president and CMO of retargeting firm AdRoll, shared some concrete takeaways on Atlas with Real-Time Daily following a panel about Facebook PMD (preferred marketing developer program) which he moderated.

Berke said that Atlas is not a DSP because marketers don’t execute campaigns in Atlas. “I expect Facebook to roll [a DSP] out over the next few quarters," said Berke.

Once you buy an impression you can serve an Atlas tag and it will give you analytics on the back end about how the campaign performed,” Berke added. “There might be some decisioning built in (i.e. once you buy an impression and serve an Atlas tag, it can sequence creative to a specific user), but that functionality has been shown less tangibly than the analytics side of things."

Berke also noted that Atlas is more oriented to brand campaigns than direct response, saying that it is “part of Facebook’s strategy to go after the big TV/brand dollars.”

1 comment about "Facebook's Atlas Update: Is It Now A DSP?".
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  1. Ken Nicholas from VideoAmp, October 9, 2014 at 11:38 a.m.

    Adam Berke is exactly correct, and those asking the question are inadvertently moving Atlas over a spot or two in the chain. In its new iteration, Atlas is a big step for Facebook towards both realizing their own DSP/ecosystem, entering the Display world more fully and going after other Brand dollars. Google, AOL & especially Yahoo! should be very worried at this huge move.

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