Facebook acquires online advertising platform LiveRail

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No one likes advertising intruding on their online experience, but Facebook is looking for ways to deliver more relevant ads to users of its social network by acquiring one of the companies responsible for feeding such content to big media brands.

Facebook today announced an agreement to acquire LiveRail, an advertising technology company best known for wedging themselves between content providers and users with online video ads.

Founded in 2007, LiveRail currently powers the advertising pushed to websites and apps owned by Major League Baseball, ABC, A&E Networks, Gannett and Dailymotion, specializing in the delivery of only the most relevant ad content.

With hundreds of millions of digital video viewers watching LiveRail-powered advertising each and every month, Facebook aims to satisfy publishers and marketers alike with more "interesting and engaging" online ads.

Joining forces

Facebook Vice President of Ads Product Marketing and Atlas Brian Boland describes LiveRail as "a complete advertising solution for video publishers," although the announcement Wednesday doesn't offer details on how the acquisition might improve the experience for social network users already fatigued by online ads.

At least for now, Facebook plans to keep LiveRail and its staff of 170 people operating independently of the House That Zuckerberg Built, although Boland hopes to use the combined expertise to "make video advertising much better for everyone."

Although Facebook has primarily focused advertising on the web thus far, the clock is ticking on that front after announcing a mobile ad network initiative called Facebook Audience Network at the F8 conference back in May.

The acquisition of LiveRail is likely to dovetail nicely with Facebook's own burgeoning advertising network, which the social network hopes to expand beyond the walls of its own branded mobile apps.