Fancred started as a social network for sports fans, a place where people could share photos of games and talk about the mess of rival teams. But, like Facebook and Twitter when they got big, the 3-year-old platform has bigger ambitions. He wants to be the next global sports media company. That plan starts rolling into place on Wednesday, when Fancred adds live video and real-time game scores to its mobile apps and website, and that’s just the beginning.
Fancred might just be the first sports app with a Periscope-like live-streaming feature. Anyone can stream on the app, although there is a 5 minute limit. This cap serves two purposes: it gives the person time to broadcast to call out the worst play in the game, provide a window into the action on the field, or show a brief scene from the tailgating party. And if you’re a viewer watching the stream, you know how long you have to wait to catch the ending. It’s not an opportunity for people to stream entire games to their subscribers, which is a problem Periscope has faced.
“Fans always want to rant, fans want to shout their opinions and do the Monday morning quarterback,” Fancred CEO Kash Razzaghi said. “We believe it will be a place where sports personalities are born.”
While anyone can live stream, Fancred realizes that sports fans want to see expert video commentary. It partners with dozens of media companies and sports teams to create what are essentially mini TV shows that stream live within the app. Mashable, the boston globeSportswriters from and Mississippi State University teams are all on board with Fancred live streams, with more to come.
Fans won’t be able to comment on shows, like they can on other apps. Instead, Fancred will offer upvote and downvote options to keep the community civil.
The other new feature, live scores, is something the sports app has never offered before. Fancred launches real-time game information with NFL scores before rolling out stats for all major leagues across all sports.
“We’re going to be giving out super fast, up-to-the-minute personalized scores for fans who want to follow their teams,” Razzaghi said. “We want Fancred to be useful to you even if you’re not super active on social media.”
The new Fancred is organized into three feeds: your main activity feed from people you follow on the platform, such as teams, journalists or other fans; a stream for live streams currently on air; and a stream for real-time scores. The platform will soon add tabs for commerce, so fans can buy tickets or in-app merchandising, and a personalized news feed with original editorial content created exclusively for Fancred.
It’s a bold move to try and compete in a space where Facebook and Twitter dominate, but Fancred is betting big on its community of passionate sports fans to spread the word. For people who don’t want to deal with the social aspect of a social network, Fancred’s new features are great. Being able to open a separate sports app to catch a live broadcast during a commercial break or check the score at work is a drama-free way to stay connected while gaming without getting into a family Facebook war.