Facebook is dropping its Atlas “people-based marketing” ad-serving platform that it acquired from Microsoft back in 2014:
Beginning today, we’ll start winding down the ad serving portion of Atlas. We believe Atlas will have a greater impact and create more value for advertisers by focusing on measurement; especially as people continue to shift to mobile and more ads are served by publishers themselves instead of third parties.
It will still keep Atlas active in terms helping measure user metrics, but it will no longer be used to actually serve ads. Over 300 advertisers had used the platform to reach users, including big-name brands like Airbnb and State Farm.
According to AdWeek, Facebook will now use third party measurement tools to help keep itself honest:
Since its launch in 2014, Atlas has been at the center of Facebook’s “people-based marketing” mantra that the company has used to differentiate itself from the cookie-based tracking used in other parts of the digital advertising ecosystem. Now, Atlas—which Facebook acquired from Microsoft in 2013—will be placed alongside a slew of third-party partners like Nielsen and Oracle as Facebook continues its quest to maintain advertisers’ trust.
Facebook shares fell $0.30 (-0.26%) to $117.49 in Friday afternoon trading. Year-to-date, FB has gained 12.18%, versus a 7.41% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.