Facebook just announced its acquisition of SportStream. Although SportStream identifies itself as a "group of die-hard sports fans," the story underneath the acquisition truly represents an API story. Over the past few months, Facebook has been building its developer toolkit with an armory of new APIs and media partners have begun to flock to its new capabilities. The platform underlying SportStream, SportsBase, and its associated API will give Facebook greater visibility into sports-based conversations across the social media ecosystem.
Regarding the acquisition, Facebook VP of Media Partnerships and Global Operators, Justin Osofsky, commented:
"[W]e expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook’s tools and APIs."
Just over a year old, SportStream has banked some major partners across the sports community to utilize its sports conversation analysis platform. The Seattle Seahawks, Michigan Athletics, Liverpool FC, Root Sports, and Ask.com, constitute a few of the names with whom SportStream has partnered. SportStream will bring Facebook a new set of tools specifically dedicated to sports conversations; an area in which Facebook has previously come up short of competitors.
Facebook is rushing to bring better tools to marketers. Its API arsenal continues to grow; however, some key segments have previously evaded its grips. Twitter has had a clear advantage in the sports conversation across social media. Facebook's acquisition of SportStream represents a giant leap forward in Facebook's sports related capabilities. Look for Facebook to quickly integrate SportsStream into its portfolio and continue recruiting partners in the sports world.