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NEWS: Facebook acquires LiveRail

Facebook has acquired online video advertising platform LiveRail for a reported £233 million.

Founded in 2007, LiveRail allows brands to serve better ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps. The tech start-up also provides marketers with access to premium video records and information to decide where to show their ads.

The move highlights the social network’s focus on video advertising. Brian Boland, VP of ads product marketing and atlas at Facebook, explained in a blog post:We believe that LiveRail, Facebook and the premium publishers it serves have an opportunity to make video ads better and more relevant for the hundreds of millions of people who watch digital video every month.

‘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.’

Meanwhile, Dominic Trigg, MD Europe at Rocket Fuel, explained what this move means for the industry: “There has always been a certain degree of controversy surrounding the data that Facebook collects from its users and with this move there will surely be another round of uproar from commentators and users. Facebook has long been considering its customers behavioural data and serving them ads based on their personal preferences within Facebook sites. Now, it will be using this data to serve video ads to its users outside of its own websites, and therefore selling programmatically.

"Facebook does not honour the ‘Do Not Track’ setting on web browsers which means users can’t tell Facebook not to use their data to send them ads. With this acquisition, potentially users may question how their data is being used and whether Facebook is using it in their best interests."