Post their IPO there were many concerns over just how Facebook would make money, especially in the mobile arena that was increasingly where users accessed the site.
Since the troubled early months as a public company, Facebook have bounced back however, with their ad business now generating $4 billion. This week they announced a major acquisition intended to help improve this side of the business still further.
They announced the acquisition of Atlas from Microsoft for approximately $100 million in a move that was widely expected within the industry.
Microsoft attained Atlas as part of their disastrous purchase of aQuantive. With the incumbant parts of that deal being sold off at rock bottom prices over the last few years, it was only a matter of time before Atlas left the Microsoft stable.
It is believed that Facebook will use Atlas to improve their data tracking ability for sites outside of Facebook, thus hopefully proving the value of Facebook ads to prospective advertisers.
Facebook would love to be able to charge the same kind of money that Google currently do for their own advertising, and this purchase represents an attempt to prove to the ad industry that they are worth such valuations.
Once the integration of Atlas into Facebook is complete, it seems likely that they will begin to startselling adverts on sites outside of Facebook.