The world's largest social network -- that would be Facebook
, folks -- has agreed to acquire LiveRail, an advertising technology company, for an undisclosed sum of money (online reports have the figure pegged at between $400 million and $500 million). While announcing the planned acquisition, Facebook pointed out that LiveRail has helped several companies serve better ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps.
That might be a hint as to why Facebook went after LiveRail and was willing to pay in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars (assuming the reported figures are true). Facebook has made a major push into mobile
, and LiveRail's web and mobile ad technology could help the social networking site further monetize its efforts.
"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," said Brian Boland, VP of Ads Product Marketing and Atlas at Facebook. "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."
It's an interesting time for advertising companies. Earlier this week, Twitter
scooped up Tap Commerce, a mobile retargeting startup, and prior to that, the microblogging service bought out MoPub, a hosted ad serving solution built specifically for mobile publishers.