Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Looksmart - Always The Bridesmaid, Never The Bride? [Facebook To Buy Atlas?]

The news (from both All Things D & Business Insider) that Facebook will likely be buying Microsoft's ad server Atlas, is pretty strong. A figure of plus/minus $30 million has been suggested (BI), yet this could even be slightly lower.

Such a deal will see a Facebook Ad Network that will immediately rival Google's DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform.

Facebook's own unique (1 billion user's) data, allows it's advertisers to then be able to run ads on non-Facebook sites at scale-an ad network for third-party Web sites, including Microsoft's own O&O (owned & operated) properties, + Bing.

Such a deal could give Facebook advertisers US inventory 'reach' of near on 100% and (according to Kara Swisher) sources said the prospect of starting from scratch (for Facebook) was more daunting than picking up a platform (Atlas), that already delivers billions of ad impressions a day.

Whilst I have been quietly hoping for a Facebook buy of The LookSmart Network, this deal gives Facebook so much more scope.

Still no mention of the bridesmaid?

The accounts that I've read (that's the above linked, plus Adweek's) have all failed to mention anything related to any future involvement for Facebook (through Atlas) with Looksmart's AdCenter marketplace.

Atlas has compatibility with Looksmart's AdCenter


LookSmart® AdCenter: Help Center

Can I use third party tools to manage my campaigns?

Yes. LookSmart has partnered with various bid management tool providers. Using a centralized interface, you can manage bids, track results of all online marketing efforts & manage creatives across multiple networks. We have launched partnerships with APEX Pacific, BidRank, ClickTracks, LivePerson, MakeMeTop, Omniture, Trellian and Atlas.


Hey! - I've long talked of an RTB Global OPEN Marketplace 'handling' up to 100 Billion 'Events' per day! -

That there's such importance and a need for 'bid management' or, adservers to be on a somewhat 'equal' footing ('centralised' buying across all the various product offerings & in the many marketplaces) has virtually been explained so well today, by Jeff Green - read "This".

One that's ultimately to become (after the sale of it's own ad network, The LookSmart Network- HMmm? Adobe/Rubicon, hurry scurry?),the only independent RT marketplace that's all based on real time (search) 'user intent.' (A marketplace - that just happens to have been built with the help of Microsoft.- Yes...see Current Report)

Always, only an opinion.

LOOK: $0.8599 Up 0.0438 (+5.37%) 10:02AM EST


ps; Amusing to see AdExchanger's 'sub-heading' for their own snippet on the supposed Facebook interest in Atlas.

Although, with "Ever the Bridesmaid", the writer is clearly referring to Atlas as being the bridesmaid.- I found the following of extreme interest, too:

"Or how's this for a foil-hat conspiracy theory: Facebook could buy Atlas as an "in" to Microsoft's inventory, and separately sign Yahoo to launch a new "big three" social ad network to distribute its native ad formats. Both companies are existing partners."

And I'd agree with a no, no, no, no ,no! That's plain silly for anyone to think such a possibility.

Facebook (through it's own Exchange access partner and Microsoft's gatekeeper, AppNexus) would already have that access to Microsoft's inventory, no? And in having Facebook do so (via AppNexus), Microsoft avoids that precious 'data leakage' of any sort.

Then there's Microsoft's stance on DNT - for someone to think that: ........"Facebook computers could track Facebook users across all sites partnered with Facebook, keeping track of what ads these users see and what products they later buy" is plain ridiculous - as is just as silly, the AdExchanger comment to this: "So, an attribution play? Now that sounds like Facebook's cuppa."

That's rubbish!!

For mine, I'll stick to my above & add that in my Sept. post When Search Meets Display, I had made the following observation:

"Microsoft (with Bing) Google+ (the Google & the other search engines), Facebook,Yahoo (via Bing) will all have this exclusive FIRST PARTY DATA to enable their own advertisers to target users in real time at that point of a search query either 'local' or, all over the web and right across a one publisher base or, publishers within a one open marketplace."

Yes (I feel), those (across ONE market) PLA Ads are coming - soon.

Disclosure: Long LOOK and happy to be so.