Facebook buys sports data start-up SportStream

By Danny Palmer
18 Dec 2013 View Comments
Image of Facebook logo and login screen

Facebook has acquired SportStream, a San Francisco-based start-up whose app enables users do analyse data about social media mentions of sport.

The company, founded 18 months ago, enables broadcasters and content editors to aggregate, filter and display sports data in real-time. 

It's widely speculated that the move is an attempt by Facebook to become more like social media rival Twitter, which allows users to view what other users are saying about the same subject.

Sporting events are among the highest trending topics on Twitter and it's likely Facebook wants to be able to identify what users are talking about more accurately in order to better target advertising.

"Through this acquisition, we expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilise the insights from Facebook's tools and APIs," Justin Osofsky, Faceook vice president of media partnerships and global operations, wrote in a blog post.

"SportStream's demonstrated track record of 'surfacing' interesting and engaging content, along with their deep understanding of our products, means that we will be able to build a better experience for the people who use Facebook, and for our partners who depend on us for real-time insights," he continued.

"We're excited to continue investing in helping people connect through their shared interests on Facebook," added Osofsky

"The addition of this new team will enable us to work more closely with media partners as we continue to invest in more robust tools and APIs, as well as the technology partners who have integrated the Keyword Insights and Public Feed APIs into their product suite," he added.

SportStream has welcomed the deal, the value of which was not disclosed, and believes the move can help it reach more people. "Facebook sees the value in our technologies and team, and we're excited to be a part of their continued investment in their platform," the company wrote in a statement.

"With this next step for SportStream, we'll have greater resources to continue to do what we do best. We expect to make an impact on the more than one billion people who use Facebook as well as the many valued sports media businesses and professionals, teams, leagues and players that use Facebook to better connect with fans"

October saw Facebook purchase mobile data compression start-up Onavo in a bid to make its service more cross-platform, especially for those using mobile devices. The deal was worth $120m. 

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