Facebook acquires SportsStream

Facebook has acquired San Francisco startup SportStream, which analyses mentions of sports on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and sells the information to media sites or sports teams to use on their websites.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SportStream was founded in 2012 and had been supported by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's venture firm, Vulcan Capital.

The announcements by both Facebook and SportStream about the acquisition did not mention Facebook's plans for the technology, except that it would use it to better connect Facebook with sports fans.

According to LinkedIn, the SportStream had a workforce of about a dozen. In its post, Facebook welcomed SportStream team to its campus in Menlo Park.

The San Francisco based firm was set up by a group of "die-hard sports fans."

The patented data platform, SportsBase, built by the firm,  provides content producers and broadcasters with customisable social media experiences via an API or HTML components. The sports data can then be aggregated, filtered and displayed by content providers in real-time.

The startup counts the Seattle Seahawks, Liverpool FC, and Ask.com among some of its existing clientele.

According to Justin Osofsky, vice president of media partnerships and global operations at Facebook, the largest social network in the world planned to use SportStream's resources to "meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook's tools and APIs."

His blog post also offered a hint at how the addition of SportStream's real time data tools could add to Facebook's live TV game against Twitter.

According to Ofosky, ''From the 30 million people in the US talking about the NFL during opening weekend to Kobe Bryant announcing his return to the Lakers via his Facebook Page earlier this month, a spirited conversation about sports is happening on Facebook both in real-time and over the water cooler the day after.  We want to help people connect with their passion around sports, and the world more generally. If there is something interesting going on, people are talking about it on Facebook. From favorite television shows to breaking news, these conversations are happening on Facebook''

In a separate statement, SportStream team said, they "expect to make an impact on the more than 1 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."