Facebook changing the way it offers the cross-device ad measurement capabilities of its Atlas platform.
The company relaunched the current version of Atlas in 2014 with a focus on what it calls “people-based marketing” — namely, the ability for advertisers to track users across devices. Last year, it shut down the ad serving part of the Atlas business and merged the remaining team into a central measurement group.
Now, Product Marketing Director for Measurement Scott Shapiro said Facebook is moving into “the next phase of our measurement journey.” That means launching a new area of the Facebook Business Manager called Advanced Measurement, where it will be making Atlas capabilities available in a self-serve way.
“Previously, these tools were only available in Atlas for the largest enterprise marketers,” Shapiro said. “We’re expanding the access of functionality that only existed in Atlas to tens of thousands of marketers who use Facebook’s ad tools.”
While Facebook says it’s too early to release screenshots of the Advanced Measurement dashboards, the company did give me a demo of the first two products, which are focused on reach and attribution — in other words, helping advertisers get an accurate count of how many people they’re reaching with their campaigns, and understanding which ads are actually leading to sales and other business outcomes.
To be clear, you’ll still need some degree of digital advertising expertise to use these tools. As Shapiro put it, “It’s businesses that have a real digital marketing person on staff. It’s not a coffee shop where the barista is posting once a day.”
Facebook’s ad measurement has been under the spotlight recently due to multiple admissions that it was misreporting metrics, leading to calls for more third-party verification. However, Shapiro noted that the company continues to add independent advertising partners.
Facebook says Advanced Measurement is currently in testing, with plans to refine the interface and introduce more data as it rolls out. The company also intends to move Atlas advertisers to the new interface over the next year.