Facebook takes on Twitter with dedicated sports feed

21 Jan 2016

Facebook has revealed its new Sports feed, which will offer stats and a place to chat about sports, while leaving the regular feed uncluttered with posts many people don’t care about.

While a service like Twitter is likely to be the focal point of instantaneous reactions to live events these days, Facebook still finds itself one of the sites where people post about a sports event in the hope of receiving praise for supporting a particular team, or trying to goad those who happen to support the opposing side. now, Facebook says, there’s going to be a place where you can let your emotions get the better of you in a feed to be called Facebook Sports Stadium.

And now, Facebook has revealed, there’s going to be a place where you can indulge all your sports-related frustration and jubilation in a feed to be called Facebook Sports Stadium.

In its announcement of the new feature, Facebook said that, aside from it being a place to talk about whichever game happens to be on, it’s gearing itself to take on the established sports media, with live scores, stats and play-by-play of what’s happening on the pitch.

Also, much like a hashtag on Twitter, it will also feature commentary and information from experts, your teams, leagues and journalists, with easy access to their Facebook pages.

This journalist’s constant references to Twitter are no coincidence, however, as this effort from Facebook is its latest attempt to woo sports fans back to the social network, having seen the former blitz it on all accounts as the centre of sports reactions and live stats.

Facebook Sports feed

To give an idea of the numbers involved on Twitter, the micro-blogging site amassed 672m tweets during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, compared with Facebook’s 280m reactions, which was still considered its own record at the time.

Users wanting to access the Sports feed will just need to search for whatever game is on and it should pop up as a result, but the social network says how you can access it will evolve over time.

Facebook Sports is starting off in its native US with support for American football on iOS, but says it will be rolling out other sports in the US and around the world at a later, unconfirmed date on all platforms.

Speaking to Re/code, Facebook Sports Stadium’s project manager, Steve Kafka, said of the new feature: “We think it can really enhance awareness. Maybe you weren’t paying attention and then you see your friends are having this discussion and that can pull you into the game.

“We think that’s a win-win for everybody. It drives more eyeballs to what [our content partners] are already sharing.”

Football pitch image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic