Facebook Releases New Sports Feature To Trouble Twitter

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Twitter has a good reputation when it comes to live events (especially sports), and Facebook is making an attempt to hurt the micro-blogging firm on this front. The social networking giant announced a new feature called Sports Stadium, which aims to challenge Twitter on its key strength.

Not content partner yet

Facebook, which made this announcement just in time for the Super Bowl, informed users that the feature will allow them to trade talk with fellow fans and track live commentary from experts and journalists in addition to live scores, stats and updates.

In a blog post, Facebook said, “You can follow the action as the game unfolds with a live play-by-play, and even like, comment on and share individual plays. You can also get up to speed quickly with live scores and the most discussed plays.”

Facebook’s new sports feature will kick off with the NFL this weekend for the AFC and NFC championship games. The new feature will also cover other sports around the world, such as basketball and soccer, the company said. Facebook’s sports service will get its game data from Sportradar, but for the launch, it has not partnered with any content providers.

Facebook vs. Twitter in sports

Facebook’s new feature follows the rollout of Moments from Twitter this past fall. This feature aggregates tweets, photos and videos from sports matches and also from news events. Real-time event tracking is a niche area in whichTwitter still holds an advantage over Facebook.

However, Facebook’s new feature could be very scary for the micro-blogging firm owing to Facebook’s huge size: 1.5 billion monthly active users, of which 650 million are sports fans. By comparison, Twitter just has 320 million monthly active users.

“Sports is a global interest that connects people around the world. This product makes connecting over sports more fun and engaging, and we will continue listening to feedback to make it even better,” Facebook’s product manager, Steve Kafka, said.

The service will be available to iPhone users this weekend, and in the coming weeks it will be rolled out to Android phones and desktop computers as well.

On Thursday, Twitter shares closed up 2.53% at $17.82. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 23%, while in the last year, it is down by over 52%.

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