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Facebook Buys SportStream, Continues Competition With Twitter

For a while people have been “watching” games or other major events via Twitter. Facebook wants a piece of the real-time chatter going on. Now they’re going to try their hand during events like the Super bowl.

sportstream

SportStream Trend Map on Facebook

“A spirited conversation about sports is happening on Facebook both in real-time and over the water cooler the day after,” said Justin Osofsky, Facebook vice president of media partnerships and global operations. “We want to help people connect with their passion around sports, and the world more generally,” he said.

Social media powerhouse Facebook acquired SportStream, a social start-up that allows teams, leagues, athletes, etc. to create their own social media based experiences for themselves and fans.

SportStream provides social content, stats, news and more. Their sport-specific content will revolve around games, teams and players in real-time. Details on how much Facebook has paid for the start-up have not yet been revealed.

Facebook Joins Twitter In Real-time Social Media Conversations

SportStream has the ability to search Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and news sites to compile feeds of information on certain teams or games. Then it offers this feature to clubs and media partners via an API.

The service is currently used by Liverpool FC, the Seattle Seahawks, NBA star Stephen Curry, ESPN, and Ask.com.

In a blog post from September 17, 2013, Osofsky said that they “expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of [their] partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook’s tools and APIs.” The social media giant has become more like its rival Twitter since it adopted hashtags and trending topics this summer. These moves are strategically allowing Facebook to compete with Twitter as a source for real-time information and conversation around major events. This move could hypothetically draw more users to Facebook, and away from Twitter, during a major game.

Osofsky indicates that SportStream’s product, SportsBase, is where the value in this acquisition lies. This platform would allow Facebook to tailor relevant updates and commentary, allowing Facebook’s media partners to use these posts in their content.

What do you think of Facebook buying SportStream? Will you participate in the real-time conversations surrounding sports on Facebook?

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