According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is planning on officially announcing a new advertising platform at the Advertising Week conference, held in New York. The new program will move Facebook from an exclusively social media company to a major ad network overnight. The ad network will allow marketers to buy ad spots on millions of web properties, while still getting all of the advantages of using Facebook ads.
This is clearly a major move for Facebook, and it will pit them directly against Google for the display advertising market. This new system for Facebook was largely made possible due to the to the Atlas platform, which was purchased from Microsoft last year. This platform allows data to be gathered using the Facebook ID, rather than Cookies, which have been the traditional method for advertisers for many years now.
Facebook will be strongly promoting the fact that they don’t rely on cookies, which has many known limitations, especially with mobile advertising.
The market that Facebook is now entering is massive, and could allow them to dramatically increase their profits going forward. Google made $13.2 billion through ads displayed on non-Google properties in 2013, which is more than Facebook brought in all year. While it will undoubtedly take some time to grow this new income stream, it has the potential to become a major source of profits for the social company.
Marketers will benefit from this move because they will be able to use all the data that Facebook already has when displaying ads on sites besides Facebook.com. In addition, this new program will allow Facebook to gather even more data about people’s browsing habits than ever before. This will likely be used to help improve the ads shown both on and off of Facebook’s main property.
While most people have expected Facebook to enter the display advertising market for some time, it is still something that everyone will be watching closely. This move will likely make Facebook and Google become one of the biggest tech rivalries in history, perhaps even bigger than Microsoft and Apple. Especially since Facebook is already making inroads toward allowing people to use the Facebook platform as a search engine too.
While it is far too early to tell what the long term impact of this will be, it is certain to shake up the marketing and advertising industries over the coming months and years. The nice thing about it, however, is that it will likely drive innovations and improvements that marketers and companies can benefit from.