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Is Facebook Planning to “Add a Friend” Called Google’s Advertising Revenues?

August 25, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

It is no secret that Google makes billions of dollars every year from advertising – no other company has even come close to touching Google in this field.  When Facebook purchased Atlas, the advertising technology company from Microsoft last year, nobody even batted an eyelash.  Atlas was part of the ill-fated $6 billion acquisition of aQuantive in 2007 and sold it to Facebook for pennies on the dollar at about $30 – $50 million – a bad deal for Microsoft (seems they have been doing a lot of that lately) and a great deal for Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. From our sources, it seems that Facebook has been pouring lots of money and technical resources into revitalizing Atlas and are readying to present it to advertisers at the Advertising Week trade show in late September.  What Facebook is calling their “Demand-Side Platform” – a system that lets advertisers make automated bids for ad inventory -will compete directly with Google’s ‘DoubleClick Bid Manager’ advertising platform.

This venture into the advertising world is not a new thing for Facebook – they are reported to be in talks to team up with Nielsen and provide them with data from major publishers that would help improve Nielsen’s ad tracking.  Facebook already brings in a lot of money from advertising – it is, after all, the most popular social media App on the market with an age group that spans three decades – and there are ads all over the site.  Facebook actually saw a 50.5-percent increase in growth in their U.S. mobile ad revenue last year while Google only enjoyed a 33.3-percent growth rate.  Of course those percentages can be deceiving – 33.3-percent of a huge number is another huge number.

Facebook is far from the only company trying to capture some of Google’s advertising dollars – let’s not forget about our other friend, Amazon.  According to the Wall Street Journal, they are reported to be building software to compete with one of Google’s nest eggs – the AdWords platform.  Google’s AdWords places advertising copy at the top, bottom, or beside, the list of search results Google displays for a particular search query and has evolved into Google’s main source of revenue.  Amazon has access to millions of customers on their website, but has been tentative about smothering them with a lot of advertising – I guess CEO Jeff Bezos has decided to allow the smothering to begin.