Category: Social networking


Facebook buys rights to show La Liga games in India

Company signs exclusive three-year agreement to screen all 380 Spanish top-flight football matches across south Asia Facebook has bought the rights to show Spanish top-flight football in the Indian subcontinent in the latest move by a US technology com…


Commonwealth Games wifi service will mine visitors’ Facebook data

The data mining, which the Gold Coast council says is legal, will be used to market the city to touristsThe Gold Coast council will use a new city wifi service to harvest Facebook data from visitors to next month’s Commonwealth Games.The data mining, w…


One careful owner: tennis star Nick Kyrgios uses Facebook to sell his old car

• Controversial World No16 offers his BMW to 250,000 followers
• Boasts ‘near new tyres, immaculate car, bone leather interior’

Nick Kyrgios’ latest effort to monetise his social media profile has caused a mixed reaction online – putting his BMW up for sale to his 250,000 Facebook followers.

The 21-year-old Australian, whose on-court behaviour has led to a series of difficult PR moments, posted a photo of the car on his official account, asking fans to message him offers.

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ECB starts process for new T20 format but county official reveals ‘gun to head’ tactics

• County official calls ECB tactics ‘gun to the head stuff’
• ECB is confident of sparking a bidding war over broadcast rights

Colin Graves, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, has triggered the process required for the creation of the new domestic Twenty20 tournament from 2020 onwards, describing it as a “watershed moment” for the sport.

While there has been grumbling behind the scenes – one county official told the Guardian some of the tactics employed had been “gun to the head stuff” – only a postal ballot of the 41 ECB members remains before the ECB can sell television rights for the competition that will feature eight new regional teams and run during the school holidays.

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Convicted footballer’s sister launches ‘Justice for Johnson’ campaign

Facebook picture urges people to change their profile picture to support Adam Johnson after child sex offence convictions

The sister of disgraced footballer Adam Johnson has posted a “Justice for Johnson” photograph on Facebook following his child sex offence convictions.

Faye Johnson posted a black-and-white image of her brother with his one-year-old daughter wearing a Sunderland AFC shirt with “Daddy” on the back.

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Kick It Out calls for collective action on social media abuse towards players

• Anti-discrimination organisation wants expert panel set up to tackle problem
• Game, police and internet companies urged to come together Continue reading…


Social media cauldron of hate to players a sad reflection of modern life

Number of discriminatory posts makes for depressing reading. Can anything be done by football authorities, police and internet companies? Continue reading…


Liverpool fan rescues Leicester City supporters after Reddit plea

OfficePlum praised for giving stranded football supporters cash for hotel and taxi after reading of their plight on social mediaA Liverpool fan who came to the rescue of two Leicester City supporters after they were left stranded after a match has been…


How sport dominated social media in 2014

If you were on Facebook or Twitter this year you will have heard a lot about the World Cup and the Champions League – while watching people douse themselves in ice-cold water
• Who are the world’s most popular football clubs on social media?

It says something about human nature that the most tweeted about event in sport this year was Brazil’s 7-1 trouncing against Germany at the World Cup. The hosts fell from their perch the way Homer Simpson falls off a cliff: the pain went on and on and on and on and on and on and on. And the people of the world united to tweet in derision, delight, dismay and disbelief.

The World Cup dominated the attention of sports fans across the globe in 2014, with six of the 10 most mentioned moments coming from those 33 days in the summer. Mario Balotelli offering his romantic services to the Queen, Mario Götze scoring the final goal of the competition and Wayne Rooney’s strike against Uruguay were all popular topics, but the World Cup was a victory for the German concept of schadenfreude.

If we beat Costa Rica i want a kiss,obviously on the cheek, from the UK Queen..

Ahhh The Queen photo-bombed our selfie!! #royalty #sheevensmiled #amazing #Glasgow2014 @Hockeyroos @AusComGames

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Social media is set to be the advertising winner at the Brazil World Cup

Twitter, YouTube and Facebook likely to cash in on advertising boost along with television and radio Continue reading…


Let’s Play – the YouTube phenomenon that’s bigger than One Direction

Posting clips of yourself playing video games can bring in big ad revenues – John Green uses his to sponsor AFC Wimbledon. By Fredrick McConnellFredrick McConnell


Spurs Connect app turns football matches into a live social game

Tottenham Hotspur partners with developer OneUp Games to get fans competing with in-match predictionsStuart Dredge


With 4.5m active fans, The Football App wants to be ‘the Facebook of football’

German startup passes 10m downloads, adds more social features and welcomes competition from broadcasters and big portals

Football fans are well catered-for when it comes to ways to follow the sport on our smartphones.

Thinking about the English Premier League alone, we can watch live matches in Sky and BT’s apps, watch highlights on the BBC’s iPlayer or Sun+ Goals, dive into Opta data from FourFourTwo’s Stats Zone app, and get news, in-match commentary and goal alerts from a host of news apps (The Guardian’s included).

One of the most popular football apps, though, doesn’t come from an established media brand. German startup Motain launched The Football App in 2008, and it has since rolled out across iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Samsung’s connected TVs.

The app has been downloaded more than 10m times, but founder Lucas von Cranach says that’s not the best measure of its performance. “Everybody talks about downloads, but downloads isn’t a currency if people aren’t using your application,” he says.

“We have close to 5m monthly active users, and they’re highly engaged, with up to 1.5m daily active users. People spend around 1.5 to 2 hours a month on average in the app, and generate 200-250 page impressions each per month.”

Until now, The Football App has focused on news, scores and commentaries, stats and other content drawn from various media partners – Opta, Associated Press and local press agencies included – covering more than 100 leagues around the world.

That’s changing today, with a new feature called Fan Zone that aims to get fans chatting much more around all this content. It’s launching initially for the top leagues in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France, curating social buzz around individual teams and matches.

“Say I’m a fan following the upcoming Swansea against Arsenal match. If I go into that game’s Fan Zone, I’ll see content from external sources: people recognised as big Arsenal or Swansea fans, interesting fan blogs and other experts,” says chief technical officer Jonathan Lavigne.

“But there will also be the possibility to chat with other users about this curated external content, discussing and commenting on it, and then that can flow back to Twitter from the app. We are looking at it from a mobile-first perspective: it’s not about people writing 200 to 500-line blog posts. It’s much more about small interactions.”

Each user will also get their own profile within The Football App. There are other startups trying this kind of thing: Fanatix from the UK and Vubooo from Israel. But the nearest parallel to what The Football App is trying to do may be Zeebox, which has a wider brief – all television rather than just football – but a similar mix of curated tweets and social interaction.

von Cranach is setting his sights higher, though. “Football is huge. There are about 350m people consuming football globally through mobile devices, and that’s the market we’re targeting,” he says. “We believe we can become the Facebook for football, and we are on the way to getting there.”

The company hopes people will be using its app more throughout the week as a result of the new features. For example, each match’s Fan Zone will open three days before the game, and continue for 3-4 days after it, taking in the build-up and post-match debates, rather than just chatter during the match.

von Cranach says that Motain has been “almost cashflow-positive” in the last few years, but the company raised €10m (£8.3m) in April 2013 in a funding round led by Earlybird Venture Capital to fuel its ambitions, including expanding its team to support the new social features.

The Football App has made its money so far from advertising and marketing partnerships, including creating a Euro 2012 app for Carlsberg which von Cranach says was “the most successful branded app ever”.

He sticks to the familiar social startup refrain of striving for reach before revenues – “We do substantial revenues, but if you don’t have the reach and a successful product, you’ll never get to a great company that does great revenues” – but hints at plans for mobile advertising that go beyond banners.

“If you think about how Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare… how these companies approach the market in terms of advertising, it’s in-stream advertising and not banners, backfill and that kind of stuff,” says von Cranach.

“Advertising going above content is wrong, so that is not the direction we are heading in. We are lucky that in this vertical, football, there are a lot of premium brands who want to engage with football fans.”

What about competition, though? Less from Fanatix, Vubooo and Zeebox (although that too) but more about broadcasters, newspapers and big sports portals adding more social features to their own mobile apps? They’ll surely be looking for big slices of these advertising revenues too.

von Cranach is bullish. “When a company comes from print or broadcast, then goes to the web and mobile, they lose the traction that they really focused on,” he says.

“If you take the big companies, the rights owners, their only focus is to have a return on their investment of hundreds of millions of Euros into those rights. The experience, the user interface, the engagement… that’s not their first priority.”

In other words, Motain thinks the likes of Sky are focused mainly on getting people to watch the matches they’ve paid so much for the rights to broadcast, and that this will govern their strategy for second-screen and social features to keep fans engaged all week.

I’m not so sure about that: it seems logical for any media company involved with football to have ambitions to become the digital water-cooler for fans. It wouldn’t surprise me if Motain’s ultimate ambition is for one of them to do that by buying The Football App.

“The competitors are learning and building better products. Our advantage is that we are 45 people sitting in Berlin only doing one thing, and we know that mobile is not the same as web,” says von Cranach.

“We have that advantage, but we don’t know how long it’s going to last. In 2-3 years, the rightsholders will better understand this segment. Until then, we are in the best position to rule the market.” © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Ched Evans rape case: nine fined over naming of footballer’s victim

Woman’s name was circulated on social networking sites including Twitter and FacebookNine people have been fined after admitting to revealing online the identity of a woman raped by the footballer Ched Evans.The woman’s name was circulated on social ne…