Facebook buys start-up LiveRail

Facebook acquires LiveRail

The social media giant has made its sixth purchase of the year so far.

Facebook has acquired tech start-up LiveRail, which works with companies to help them increase the relevancy of the ads that appear in videos on their websites and apps. LiveRail connects marketers and publishers on the Internet and mobile, enabling them to target seven billion video ads to visitors each month using a real-time bidding platform.

While neither firm has confirmed, it has been speculated that Facebook paid between $400m and $500m (£233m and £291m) for LiveRail.

How will the LiveRail purchase benefit Facebook?

Video advertising is one of the fastest growing advertising mediums and LiveRail currently has an established high profile customer base which includes ABC Family and Major League Baseball, as well as its expertise as a real-time bidding platform.

These relationships with marketers and publishers will put Facebook at an advantage in the field of video advertising across web and mobile; not restricted to its own companies.

Similarly, LiveRail's biggest selling point to a firm looking to make an impression in video advertising, is its real-time bidding platform that assesses the video inventory of the publishers it works with while finding its marketer clients the best ad targeting opportunities.

Why are social networks so interested in video ads?

Facebook's purchase of LiveRail is the latest in a trend of social media buy-outs as offline budgets continue to shift online. On Monday 30th June, Twitter acquired retargeting start-up Tap Commerce, while earlier this year the micro-blogging site also bought ad format innovator Namo Media and mobile ad exchange MoPub.

Brian Boland, vice president of ads product marketing and atlas at Facebook said in a blog post: "More relevant ads will be more interesting and engaging to people watching online video, and more effective for marketers too... Publishers will benefit as well, because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad."

According to a recent study more than £1bn was invested in mobile advertising in 2013, an annual increase of 93 per cent.

Eugene Henry, head of PPC at theEword said: "Paid advertising has taken a huge step forward in the last 12 months, with many in the industry placing more importance on paid search advertising than SEO.

"It therefore makes sense for the biggest influencers in the industry to ensure they retain that status with large scale purchases that will set them up for what the future holds - which at the moment certainly looks to be in mobile and paid video advertising."