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Facebook enters sports field

Facebook Sports Stadium will aggregate real-time game updates, expert statistics and commentary, and popular fan posts.

Facebook Sports Stadium will aggregate real-time game updates, expert statistics and commentary, and popular fan posts.

Facebook is tackling the sports arena with a new platform called Facebook Sports Stadium, which the social network said will provide real-time updates on games, popular posts from fans, statistics and commentary from experts.

"With 650 million sports fans, Facebook is the world's largest stadium," it wrote in a post on Wednesday announcing the feature.

Facebook, which said it had an average 1.01 billion active daily users as of September, reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday, 27 January.

The new service appears to be an effort to encroach on Twitter's territory. The micro-blogging site has long been a popular destination for so-called "live-tweeting" games.

MichaelAaron Flicker, president of XenoPsi, a New York City-based marketing firm, said the new product is Facebook's attempt at capturing "in the moment" engagement.

"They don't have that piece of the puzzle," Flicker said. "The challenge for Facebook is there are already a lot of communities (like Facebook Sports Stadium). This is not a unique offering."

Facebook Sports Stadium currently covers only American football games and comes ahead of next month's Super Bowl, on 7 February. But it will support other sports, including basketball and soccer, in the future, Facebook said.

The service can be accessed by searching for an individual game.

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