Facebook is expanding its advertising reach beyond its platform with the planned launch of its own, multi-platform ad network.
This means brands advertising on Facebook will soon be able to place the same ads outside the social network on other channels such as search, display and mobile. That puts Facebook directly in competition with Google, which has long been dominant in the digital advertising world.
Facebook bought its Atlas ad network from Microsoft in February of 2013, with the intention of extending its ad inventory to off-Facebook sites. The key value it would offer in all this would be the massive amounts of consumer data it has, through which brands can follow the same customer, targeting them across multiple channels.
Facebook doesn’t want to overwhelm users with ads, but it also doesn’t want to turn away advertisers to the point that they take their budgets elsewhere. So if Facebook the business wants advertisers’ money but Facebook the social network doesn’t want their ads, Facebook the company needs to find somewhere else to stick them.
According to AdAge, Facebook has already landed one big fish in the form of Omnicom for its ad network:
The holding company, which owns media agency network Omnicom Media Group and ad agency giants like BBDOand TBWA Worldwide, has agreed to use the new platform but the terms of a long-term partnership aren’t clear.Annalect, the group that houses Omnicom’s data-management platform and automated-digital-media-buying group Accuen, will likely play a leading role in helping advertisers use the Atlas platform. Neustar, an Annalect data vendor, will also play a role in the Omnicom-Atlas agreement, according to people familiar with the matter.
If Google’s challengers before had been search engine giants such as Yahoo and Bing, the new, very serious challenge is definitely coming from Facebook. Let’s not forget that Facebook acquired programmatic video ads platform LiveRail a few months ago and it also launched its own mobile ads network, which means it already had the capability to place ads on external video platforms and mobile apps other than its own. Put that together with Atlas, and you have a display advertising network that is ready to go head to head with Google’s DoubleClick and AdSense products.
In other words, your move Google.