Facebook has been steadily pushing itself into the online ads business. Given the sheer amount of social data it has, it is no wonder that the social network has been successful so far. Now, reports are abound that Facebook is sealing a deal with Microsoft to acquire the Atlas ad-serving business. An official announcement is expected next week.
Microsoft acquired Atlas back in 2007, apparently to position itself better in its competition with Google. But over time, the software giant has found more interest in other products and services and is apparently ready to give up its tiny foothold into the online ads industry.
Facebook, on the other hand, has spotted a perfect opportunity in this acquisition. For now, advertisers have to rely on Facebook ads API partners to determine how effective that Facebook-driven campaigns are. But once Facebook acquires Atlas, it will have ample tools to directly provide such information to the advertisers.
In other words, Facebook is trying to construct an online ads ecosystem that will be entirely its own. Advertisers would serve ads on Facebook, buy them from Facebook, track them through the social network and get reports about how effective their campaigns are, from the same source. So Facebook would be providing them with end-to-end ads solution.
Although formal terms of the acquisition haven’t been revealed, it is expected that Microsoft will fetch a lot less than $100 million in selling off its ads-serving business. The announcement, sources familiar with the matter claim, will be made some time during the next week.