Facebook has acquired SportStream, a small startup that aggregates and analyzes social conversations and content about sports in real time, which the social giant plans to use to enhance the tools it offers to TV networks and other media partners.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Facebook has been playing catch-up to Twitter in targeting the TV business, as the two fight to win the affections of media companies looking to engage auds in the social sphere.
In September, Facebook launched the Keyword Insights API (application programming interface) to let partners scan private posts of 100 million U.S. users anonymously, to get a better understanding about discussions on specific topics. The API has been used by several media partners, including ABC for “Dancing with the Stars” and Bravo for “Real Housewives” social-edition replays.
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With the acquisition of SportStream, “we expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook’s tools and APIs,” Justin Osofsky, VP of global operations and media partnerships, wrote in a blog post announcing the deal.
San Francisco-based SportStream, which launched in June 2012, raised $3.5 million in funding from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital. The 10-employee startup’s social media database is used by sports teams and media companies including the Seattle Seahawks, Liverpool FC, Root Sports and Ask.com, according to its website.