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Facebook has re-launched Atlas Solutions, the advertising network that it purchased from Microsoft in February of 2013 in a move to try and compete with Google and other advertising giants to provide new opportunities and avenues for mobile advertising.

The service uses targeting data gleaned from the social network to provide advertisers with a way to reach very specific sets of eyeballs across devices, especially on mobile apps where many of the traditional web ad targeting tools like cookies don’t function. These aren’t Facebook ads, but they do use data that Facebook has collected in order to help advertisers target particular groups of people. For example, an advertiser could use the service to easily reach 35-year-old women in Seattle with smartphones.

Atlas's audience targeting panel
Atlas’s audience targeting panel

Atlas has a big first partner in the form of Omnicom, the ad holding giant that manages clients including Pepsi and Intel. It’s clear that there’s a lot of interest around this new offering, but it remains to be seen if the ad targeting data from Facebook will be enough to draw advertisers away from other providers like Google.

It’s a big move for Facebook, and one that could potentially pay serious dividends for the company. In the long term, Facebook could pick up data that would allow it to more finely tune the advertising it serves on its social networking properties. In addition, if Atlas takes off, it could prove to be a nice stream of additional revenue.

Atlas doesn’t comply with the do-not-track capabilities in some browsers, but people interested in opting out can do so through the Digital Advertising Alliance’s opt-out page.

Facebook purchased the Atlas technology — once a part of Seattle-based aQuantive — in February 2013. Ad Age previously reported that the price was between $30 million and $50 million.

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