Facebook releases a brand new ad platform that sounds scary, privacy advocates criticize it, and life moves forward. This is a recurring theme with pretty much any new feature update that Facebook releases. Today, the new feature that Facebook is releasing is Atlas, a brand new ad platform that one would suspect that Facebook hopes to eventually challenge Google with. It is a way for Facebook to both serve ads and track users outside of Facebook. Given the amount of social data that Facebook has about users and the opportunities that conceptually exist for ad-retargeting and other features that advertisers will benefit from, this is an interesting development. Lately, Facebook has been experimenting with everything from auto-playing video ads to the Facebook Buy button, so they are clearly trying to innovate and add new features that their corporate partners will value.
However, while Facebook is established in the social media field, they have a bit less experience in general types of advertising and may not be providing all of the features and accessible data and social analytics that advertisers are looking for. Still, this is a pretty significant development as Facebook has a significant amount of corporate partners and clout in the industry and may be able to garner a large number of customers very quickly. Facebook's Atlas, and any subsequent moves by Google to ensure that they retain their overwhelming market and mind-share in display ads, will be very interesting to follow over the coming months. What will Facebook release next, and will public reaction to that be similar?