Facebook: 'We Can Make Ad Serving Incorporate Real Identity'

Facebook will make its ATS debut this year in both New York and Paris to further explain its flagship ad tech product Atlas, which many have dubbed as a serious contender to Google's ad stack. ExchangeWire caught up with Lori Goode, Facebook, head of Atlas product marketing (pictured), to initially explain the offering.   

EW: What's your reaction to advertisers' questions over how Facebook Atlas can prove the link between Facebook users' in-store purchases and the ads they've been exposed to on the social network?

LG: We track offline purchases manually. We (Atlas) know who we served ads to; the advertiser has their purchase data and knows who they sold goods to. We anonymously layer that data to see where the overlaps are and can manually measure conversion.

EW: ExchangeWire readers have claimed it is still unclear whether Atlas can overcome the challenges of cross-channel optimisation and analysis on video. Do you have any comments on the above?

LG: Today, we see that 40% of consumers begin an activity on one device and finish on another [according to GfK's 'Multi-Device Usage Study, 2013']. People have a number of devices - the phone in their pocket, their computer at work and their tablet or computer at home. In a world built around cookies, these are three different “people.”

The challenge with advertising based on cookies is there are different cookie spaces within individual browsers, as well as across devices. Cookies also don't exist in mobile devices the way they do on desktop: there are different configurations by operating system, whether in-app or on a mobile browser, etc.

Put this all together and you get distorted and misleading targeting and measurement for advertisers across the web. This is what we’ll solve with Atlas – we think we can make ad serving and ad measurement tools that incorporate real identity – people-based measurement across devices.

EW: By including data on Facebook-owned platforms such as Instagram, and presumably eventually WhatsApp, Atlas could own a very large and unique data set, how will this audience data differ from those available on DoubleClick?

LG: We believe the industry needs a better solution for ad delivery and measurement: one that is based on real people and measures results across devices and both online and off. For too long, the industry has focused on a cookie-based approach that relies too heavily on the last click.

Today, the average adult in the US spends nearly 25% of their media time on mobile. As consumer time shifts to digital and mobile, the only way to move advertising dollars to get the right ad to the right person, wherever they are and measure the results. That is what we are focused on with Atlas.

EW: Atlas is currently only an ad serving and tracking tool but does Facebook have plans to expand its Atlas offering further to include an ad-buying feature?

LG: At this time, we’re only focused on Atlas as a demand-side ad server and measurement platform.

EW: Do you have any comments on marketers' concerns on how these improvements on ad serving and tracking may raise consumer privacy concerns?

LG: Like everything we do at Facebook, our partnership with Atlas was designed with privacy top of mind. When Atlas uses Facebook data, Atlas complies with both the Atlas privacy policy and the Facebook privacy policy.

We do not violate people’s privacy or our own privacy policy when we work with Atlas. For years, our data use policy – which people agree to when joining Facebook – has been clear that we may use the information we receive about people to show them ads both on and off of Facebook.

Lori Goode, Facebook, head of Atlas product marketing will be speaking at ATS New York on 4 November, while François-Xavier Pierrel, Facebook, regional manager southern Europe for Atlas, will be speaking at ATS Paris on 13 November