Facebook a step closer to becoming a real-time social content provider

SportStream specialises in analysing social media mentions of sport and enables its users to aggregate, filter and display what it describes as “real-time” data. By acquiring the business Facebook will be making it easier for its media partners to find posts about sport on its website and use them in their content.

"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," states Justin Osofsky, vice president of Media partnerships & global operations at Facebook. "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."

The move is the latest in a string of developments that signify Facebook’s growing attempts to establish itself as a real-time social content provider like its rival Twitter. Facebook has taken various steps in recent months to make it easier for users and partners to find posts related to specific topics. These include the introduction of hashtags, embedded posts and trending topics.

In September, it allowed selected news organisations to integrate Facebook conversations into their broadcasts or coverage, while partners have also been allowed to show the number of Facebook posts that mention a specific word over a period of time, including a demographic breakdown for the people talking about that topic.