Posted September 29, 2014 10:16 am by with 0 comments

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Facebook Atlas Ad PlatformDid you feel the earth shift on its axis last week? No it wasn’t an earthquake. It was thousands of internet marketers, techies, and gurus all clamoring to gain access to the invite-only, “anti-Facebook” social network, Ello.

I was one of them–although I can assure you I didn’t inhale and only wanted an invite for ORM reasons. 😉

Unfortunately, Ello was mostly a piece of junk. Sorry Ello, but your user interface is less than impressive.

Why the stampede? Because Ello made the bold claim that it would never sell its users info to advertisers. You’d think that might get the attention of Facebook, right?

It did. And the mega social network has today announced that it is doubling down on its ad targeting with the launch of Atlas.

Actually, Atlas isn’t exactly new, but it is being relaunched as such. Its goal is to help marketers track and target their ads by going beyond cookies and pixel tracking. Atlas will bring the same kind of user targeting found on Facebook to just about any other web site on the web.

As the NYT explains:

For example, if PepsiCo, one of the first advertisers to sign on to the service, wanted to reach college age men with ads for its Mountain Dew Baja Blast, it could use Atlas to identify several million of those potential customers and show each of them a dozen ads for the soft drink on game apps, sports and video sites. Atlas would also provide Pepsi with information to help it assess which ads were the most effective.

This expansion is on par with the decision Google once made to expand search ads using its AdSense platform.

Of course, privacy advocates will be up in arms. Snopes will see a traffic boost, thanks to all the misguided information your friends will tell you about Facebook knowing what color underwear you have on for the day. And sites such as Ello will gain attention by claiming to be the “anti Facebook.”

Ultimately? We’ll all go on with our check-ins, selfies, and sports rants, effectively becoming volunteer cartographers for Facebook’s new Atlas.