Facebook has signaled it is taking the final steps to dissolve its Atlas platform into the wider business with the launch of a new tool called Advanced Measurement which will be added to its Business Manager platform.
The move from the social giant comes amid heightened pressure from brand marketers to improve what metrics it offers, and also comes as the company has inked a deal with European ad verification firm Meetrics around viewability.
Facebook purchased adtech firm Atlas from Microsoft in 2013 and it has been phasing out the brand and folding it into its own since last year. However, the platform's underlying measurement tools will live on in Facebook's own, more sophisticated, marketing dashboard which will shortly be available to all businesses big and small as part of that process. Clients who use Atlas will be transitioned over to Facebook's own measurement system.
“These tools, previously offered by Atlas, will soon be available through Facebook Business Manager,” said the company in a blog post, promising that over the coming year it would make more advanced measurement tools available to advertisers globally.
The new suite will give companies cross-platform reach and attribution stats they can use to analyze their Facebook and Instagram campaigns as well as measurement tools for ads that run on the social network's partner publisher sites via Audience Network. Advanced Measurement can be used to assess which platforms drove the most purchases or had a high reach, and companies will also be able to stack up how Facebook campaigns performed compared with other platforms.
Writing for The Drum Carat's global digital partner Jerry Daykin called the move "a big moment in the history of marketing," and said that after six months of measurement and viewability challenges Facebook is "coming out swinging".
Facebook's troubles kicked off last year when it admitted to miscalculating video metrics and overstated video views by up to as much as 80% over a three-year period. After it came clean with advertisers, Mark Zuckerberg's company promised to be more transparent in light of calls from advertising bodies like the ANA for the social network's metrics to be audited and accredited.
At the start of the year it revealed a series of expansions to its third-party verification, with providers like Comscore and Moat as well as its own viewabiility initiative. Today, it has signed a further deal with European firm Meetrics which will offer advertisers new options to confirm the viewability and view duration of campaigns on Facebook services.
"Many brand advertisers are looking for additional transparency on the viewability of the different ad formats on Facebook to measure their campaign performance," said Marianne Bullwinkel, country director Germany, Austria and Switzerland at Facebook. "That’s why we're very much looking forward to working with Meetrics to further expand our transparency initiative."
She added that "rethinking common market standards, especially regarding mobile media consumption, will become even more important going forward," a statement that follows comments from Sir Martin Sorrell that mobile is a "billion dollar opportunity," but that the tech hasn't quite caught up yet.