Facebook, Technology

Facebook Launches ‘Sports Stadium’ At the Right Time

A new avenue is being created by Facebook Inc., which gives sports fan the golden opportunity of gathering around and following sports contests together. Furthermore, the social media giant has timed the launch of the new feature at the peak sport moments of the year; when the National Football League playoffs are about to begin and the college basketball conference matchups are getting into full swing. The social network has already been working on putting a sports stamp in the news feeds of its 1.15 billion users. Users who have liked the page of a particular team, thereby alerting Facebook about their fandom must have noticed that the social network is urging them to post when they are watching a specific contest.

The Facebook Sports Stadium is the title of the new feature and will allow users to follow a chronological stream of comments and posts from friends along with those from journalists, teams, players and other prominent figures. The move by the social networking firm is an indication that it is fighting for control of the second-screen experience. Both Twitter and Facebook are competing against each other to become the go-to platform for sharing an experience. A wonderful discovery of a Sharknado, an interesting live political debate as well as live events on TV have proven to be immensely useful so far.

Twitter frequently makes use of its Moments feature for featuring such events alongside the important breaking news as a way of helping its users in staying updated about recent events. The motives of both social networking firms are quite clear; they wish to increase engagement and then want the opportunity to present advertisements to these engaged users. Sports can serve as the ideal battleground as they usually involve live events that have a devoted base of followers who most definitely have something to comment about and discuss.

The companies had dipped their toes in the sports world during the soccer World Cup as well as we saw colorful flag emojis pop up in timelines and dedicated arenas followed up games. Last year, a hub had been created by Facebook around the Super Bowl. Users who are not fans of sports typically groan when they find their newsfeed overflowing with reports and posts made by fans. Facebook, the giant in the social networking industry, believes it is simply building on an experience that already exists in its newsfeeds.

Another intriguing tactic is that Facebook is going against traditional media such as ESPN, which belongs to Walt Disney Co., by offering play-by-play and real-time scores. This is a huge draw for fans who wish to follow a game, but are unable to do so because they cannot listen to the radio or watch it on TV. The data for play-by-play and live scores is being licensed by Facebook from Switzerland-based company, Sportradar AG, which counts various leagues like the NFL as its partners. Facebook said that users can take advantage of search for finding games and it is working on other ways to surface games. 

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