Facebook’s Atlas Adds Video Ad Serving, New Measurement Tools

Facebook announced the addition of video-ad-serving capabilities to its Atlas advertising platform, along with two new measurement tools.

Facebook announced the addition of video-ad-serving capabilities to its Atlas advertising platform, along with two new measurement tools.

Dave Jakubowski, Facebook’s head of advertising technology, said in a blog post that video ad serving via the Atlas platform will be “broadly available” by the end of the month, adding:

We’re also announcing video ad serving, which makes it easier to tell vivid brand stories to real people and measure value across devices, all within the Atlas platform. The rapid growth of digital video, combined with evolving consumption habits across devices, makes this one of the most valuable formats in a marketer’s toolkit.

Jakubowski also detailed two new measurement tools from Atlas:

  • Offline Actions: This tool ties offline sales to online ad spend.
  • Path to Conversion: On a similar note, this tool helps provide insight into the multiple devices that users see ads on before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

He wrote:

Advertisers who measure their ads with Atlas can now upload their point-of-sale data and understand within minutes if their online ads are influencing offline purchases.


We’re also working with advertisers on Path to Conversion (by device reporting) to provide insight into all the ways real people—not cookies—see ads across multiple devices before making a conversion. Other path-to-conversion solutions rely on cookie-based reporting, but Atlas is based on real people, which allows advertisers to see the real path across desktop, tablet and mobile prior to online conversion. Path to Conversion (by device reporting) is now available to all customers.


Finally, Jakubowski shared the results of Facebook’s test of a buying platform within Atlas last year, and how it led to the new features Atlas introduced Monday:

Through Atlas and the people-based layer that powers it, we’ve been able to identify and measure where most waste comes from: exchanges and banners.

We realized this by testing out a buying platform in Atlas last year. During that test, we plugged into a number of the usual exchanges and bought across several formats. There were two major takeaways:

We were able to deliver ads to real people with unprecedented accuracy, but we came up against many bad ads and fraud (like bots). While we were fortunately able to root out the bad actors and only buy quality ads, we were amazed by the volume of valueless inventory.

Only two ad formats delivered significant value: native and video.

Based on those findings, we began to dig into the ads that came through LiveRail. And when we saw the same thing, we immediately shut off the low-quality ads. In fact, we removed more than 75 percent of the volume coming from our exchange by turning off publishers circulating bad inventory into LiveRail. We knew that in good conscience, we couldn’t sell what Atlas and our people-based measurement told us was valueless. Unfortunately, those ads were almost certainly dumped into another low-quality exchange where all of them were most likely purchased.

This eye-opening experiment left us with a decision: Do we bury quality (which is industry-prevalent), or do we focus solely on building a product in our mission to help marketers deliver and measure true business value? We chose the latter. Value is the better and longer-term view.

Readers: What are your initial thoughts on the new features introduced by Atlas Monday?