Facebook seems to be rife with video everything, so it only makes sense that the social media juggernaut would pick up
LiveRail, the video ad startup that had its beginnings back in 2007. Facebook acquired LiveRail for $500 million and has promised that it will continue to invest in the company.
Facebook also plans to engage in some data sharing with LiveRail in order to best determine how to intertwine their two services. The idea is also to improve the company’s demographic targeting ability, and LiveRail will help Facebook do the same. One might think that given LiveRail was purchased for a comparatively paltry $500 million, given the billion dollar purchases of WhatsApp and Oculus, one might suspect that LiveRail may be a fledgling company, but it is really anything but. The company boasts among some of its clients Major League Baseball, ABC Family, A&E Networks, Gannett, and Dailymotion – relatively heavy hitters in the world of social media.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about LiveRail is that it has unique Checkpoint technology that allows it to prevent the showing of smoking and alcohol-related ads to children. Given that sort of versatility, and the high rates that video ads are continuing to demand on Facebook and other social media sites, the purchase of LiveRail is a sound one for Facebook.
In addition, the purchase of LiveRail means that Facebook could potentially gain an edge in the ongoing war to target advertising dollars effectively. With the hundreds of social media websites that currently exist, every business on the internet knows how vital it is to establish a social media presence. Facebook’s acquisition of LiveRail will give it a leg up in its efforts to grab onto television commercials that have been reimagined for the internet. The battle for advertising dollars is going to heat up in leaps and bounds as more and more companies turn to the internet – and specifically to Facebook – to spend its advertising dollars.
As it is, Facebook is already facing heavy competition from Twitter, which just acquired ad retargeting startup Tap Commerce and last year picked up native ad format innovator Namo Media. In addition, Twitter made a huge purchase in purchasing mobile ad exchange MoPub, and all of these purchases will go a long way towards supporting Twitter’s side.
But it is the relationship between Facebook and LiveRail that will prove most interesting, particularly when it comes to the data sharing that the two companies have in mind. Certainly, with recent revelations that Facebook conducted an experiment in emotional manipulation on nearly three-quarters of a million users, Facebook will have to tread very carefully as it shares its data, but it will be interesting to see exactly what Facebook’s next move will be.