Facebook has announced it has purchased the Atlas Advertiser Suite, a marketing and advertising campaign management and measurement platform from Microsoft. Facebook says this acquisition will benefit both marketers and users, since marketers will be able to launch better advertising campaigns.

The Weight of the Marketing World

In his blog post announcing the acquisition, Brian Boland, Director of Product Marketing for Facebook Advertising, discussed how marketing has changed a lot over the past few years with more, interconnected ways to promote and market products and brands.

According to Boland, this is where marketers run into problems because they don’t seem to understand how to use these social channels or how they compliment each other, but there is a way to fix this.

“This challenge also provides an opportunity,” says Boland. “If marketers and agencies can get a holistic view of campaign performance, they will be able to do a much better job of making sure the right messages get in front of the right people at the right time.”

The Atlas Solution

This is where Atlas will prove to be useful for Facebook marketers. Atlas, which has been an approved Facebook measurement partner since June, has measurement capabilities that can help marketers understand how social campaigns work and where their business needs to improve. Specifically, Facebook says it will be improving what Atlas can do by “scaling its back-end measurement systems” and enhancing its desktop and mobile tools. The platform will also be combined with Nielsen and Datalogix to help marketeers compare their Facebook campaigns to other social and digital marketing efforts.

For Microsoft, it represents a great opportunity to build on our strengths and to enhance our partnerships as we help develop the advertising ecosystem,” said Dave O’Hara, chief financial officer of Microsoft’s Online Services.

Tools that are currently included in the Atlas Suite, which was bought from AQuantive Inc. by Microsoft in 2007, include Atlas Advanced Analytics and Atlas Media Console, a dashboard tool that monitors all marketing aspects including data reporting, campaign planning and campaign execution.

Facebook: A Marketer’s Paradise?

Over the past few months, Facebook has been investing more time and effort in its advertising platform.

Just yesterday it announced an online and offline targeting tool, which is part of the Custom Audiences tool, while earlier in February, ePrize announced a new social analytics reporting service based on Facebook data.

With the Atlas contribution, Facebook continues its mission to become a formidable marketing option, which could help it improve its standings against Google.

[Facebook is] adding campaign-measurement tools that help it step up competition with Google Inc. for online-display advertisements,”said Brian Womack and Dina Bass from Bloomberg.

Microsoft has focused more attention on building search- based advertising, at the expense of the graphical-display ad business that includes Atlas and the AQuantive assets,” they added. “Still, Microsoft wants to ensure that Mountain View, California-based Google has competition. That made Facebook, a Google rival and Microsoft partner, an attractive choice for a buyer.”

Those who already use Atlas should not see any changes to the platform as the changes will not effect current service.