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Facebook Inc. (FB): Will Atlas Be Shrugged in Advertising?

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been steadily growing its advertising presence, and has especially seen good progress on mobile devices with display advertising throughout its platform. But what might it mean when Facebook develops an advertising network, whether Facebook ads could end up anywhere a user browses on the Internet?

Atlas may provide that answer. While he’s carrying the world on his shoulders.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is finalizing the details of a purchase of Atlas,#mce_temp_url# which is an ad network technology platform held by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) since 2007. Atlas is an ad-serving platform that would allow Facebook to develop, an ad network that would encourage advertisers who work through Facebook in order to buy, sell and track ads throughout the Web. For example, if a Facebook user “likes” American Airlines, that user could see American Airlines ads on his or her Web page when he or she visits Kayak, Priceline or some other travel site.  It’s this very detailed level of data compilation that could give Facebook’s ad network an advantage over even Google.

Facebook Inc. (FB)“[Buying Atlas] is absolutely a direct line to creating an ad network,” said Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group. “It’s also a direct run at Google. … Facebook is going after a limited set of valuable ads, and it’s going after them with incredibly strong data — data that rivals what others have on us.”

In the latest data about display advertising, Google Inc. (NNASDAQ:GOOG) is the market leader online with 15.4 percent of the market, while Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has slid into second with 14.4 percent. Facebook

“Facebook has grown strong in the display ad space, and it’s mobile display business is strong,” said eMarketer vice president Clark Fredricksen. “The impact of an ad network could be significant.”

What do you think about Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and its progress in advertising? Do you think Atlas will be a game-changer for Facebook and for Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), or does it just make the market more competitive for the two companies? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.

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