Facebook acquires Liverail for $500m

The online video advertising platform will provide a new revenue opportunity for the social network

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Facebook has acquired the Liverail online video advertising platform for an estimated $500m (292m) in an attempt to diversify its revenue streams.

Liverail pairs video ads with content that appears on some of the biggest websites in the world including Major League Baseball and the ABC and A&E networks in the United States.

The company was set to float on the US stock market later this year, with revenues of $60m (35m), but Facebook decided to snap it up with plans to introduce 'audience-aware advertising technology'.

Liverail's co-founder Mark Trefgarne said by Facebook and Liverail joining together, the two companies would be able to, "draw upon our respective strengths to move even faster towards our shared vision of creating the advertising platform of the future."

Brian Boland, vice president of advertising at Facebook, said: "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," he continued.

Earlier this week, Facebook was under the spotlight after carrying out research on its users to see if they are affected by positive or negative posts that appear on their timelines.

Up to 700,000 users were affected by the experiment, which caused outrage as it transpired social networkers hadn't been consulted about the process.

In February, Facebook acquired WhatsApp and in March, it bought virtual reality company Oculus to help introduce new services to its platform.

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