Facebook is launching a new version of its Atlas advertising platform to enable cross-device advert targeting and tracking, taking its data-fuelled adverting platform outside the walls of its social media network.
Using the reworked Atlas platform, marketers will be able to track the impact of their adverts across the internet, and use Facebook data to target adverts on non-Facebook related websites and mobile apps.
In an interview with The New York Times, David Jakubowski, head of advertising technology for Facebook, said: "We are bringing all of the people-based marketing functions that marketers are used to doing on Facebook and allowing them to do that across the web."
Such a move will put Facebook in direct competition with Google's DoubleClick display advert business.
In a company blog post Erik Johnson, head of Atlas, wrote that the advertising platform had been completely rewritten from its base code upwards to meet the requirements of modern marketers.
"Targeting and measurement capabilities are built in, and cross-device marketing is easy with new ways of evaluating media performance centered on people for reporting and measurement.
"This valuable data can lead to better optimisation decisions to make your media budget even more effective," wrote Johnson.
Facebook already has several partners on board to help it pursue this move, including advertising giant Omnicom, which brings major clients such as Pepsi and Intel into the partnership.
In practise, these brands could use Facebook data to specifically target audiences within a certain range rather than simply blanket websites and apps with advertising.
For example, if Pepsi wished to target students in the London area, it could use Facebook data to determine how much of a potential customer base exists and how to target them most effectively.
The company has already enjoyed significant success from its social media advertising, particularly on mobile platforms. Facebook recently revealed that it's mobile advertising generated $2.9bn revenue.
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