Facebook Atlas winds down its ad serving portion

In a bid to focus on its measurement infrastructure, Facebook’s Atlas will be shutting the ad serving portion of its business. In a blog post detailing the decision, Erik Johnson, head of client measurement, confirmed that the ad serving portion is starting its closure process with effect of 18 November.

This follows recent events in September which saw Facebook apologising for miscalculating its video viewership – a mistake which resulted in the overstating of time users spend on average in watching videos on the social media platform by between 60-80%. This gave marketers a false view of how well their ads had performed.

The incident prompted the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to approach Facebook to reveal its metrics in a bid to help marketers better measure their ads on social media.

According to Johnson, the brand believes it will have greater impact and create more value for advertisers by focusing on the measurement side of the business. This is especially as people continue to shift to mobile, along with more ads being served by publishers themselves rather than third parties.

“We understand the impact this will have for some clients, and we’re committed to making the transition as smooth as possible,” Johnson said, adding that support will be provided over the next few months to current ad serving customers as they transition off the Atlas platform’s ad serving capabilities.

Atlas recently combined its Atlas and marketing sciences teams to form a central measurement group that oversees in-house tools such as conversion lift and mobile polling. This is alongside third-party solutions from over 20 trusted partners such as Nielsen, Oracle Data Cloud, Visual IQ, Neustar MarketShare, Moat, IAS, Comscore, Kantar and others.

Marketing has reached out to Facebook on the impact of Atlas’s APAC division, but according to sources no job cuts or resizing of the team is expected.

In March this year, Facebook has made product updates to Atlas. The updates came in three parts, video ad serving, path to conversion and offline actions.