Facebook is acquiring video advertising company LiveRail in an effort to make video adverts a more central part of its online strategy.
The San Francisco-based company was formed in 2007, and automatically pairs appropriate video ads with content. It already works with websites including Major League Baseball, ABC Family and Dailymotion to serve video ads, and according to Facebook's blog post on the acquisition "offers a complete advertising solution for video publishers."
Facebook has not announced the terms of the deal, or how it plans to integrate LiveRail into its existing video ad proposition, which it launched in March. So far, the company has been cautious of the potential backlash that video advertising may cause among users who find the adverts irritating.
"When we started talking to the team at Facebook about how we could work together, it quickly became clear that we shared a vision for the future of digital advertising," said Mark Trefgarne, CEO and co-founder of LiveRail. "They believed, as we do, that publishers deserve a new generation audience-aware advertising technology.
"We realised that by joining forces we'd be able to draw upon our respective strengths to move even faster towards our shared vision of creating the advertising platform of the future."
"For Facebook, which has already made a serious investment in video, this is an attempt to take things to the next level," said Jeremy Arditi, managing director of Ebuzzing UK. "It lets them offer advertisers the option of serving video ads not just across Facebook but also on other websites.
"This makes sense in theory, but just how LiveRail's premium publishers will react to the news remains to be seen. Will they really want Facebook controlling what advertising is served to their sites?"