In case you missed it, Facebook announced the launch of Atlas, the social media site’s new and improved targeted ad network, late last month. According to the Atlas website, this new network represents an industry push toward “people-based marketing”; that is, target marketing that tracks a person’s activity across mobile phones and tablets—not just desktop computers.
So what’s all the fuss about? First off, Atlas doesn’t rely on cookies, a means of data collection that only works on desktop computers. Instead, Atlas promises to track a shopper’s habits as they move across all devices, which, in turn, can create a more accurate, comprehensive shopper profile. Secondly, some fear that Atlas is a just a precursor to Facebook selling the personal information of its users; however, Facebook has insisted that the information gathered by Atlas and shared with advertisers is done so anonymously.