Facebook tries to tackle the news with SportStream buy

The social network touches down with a purchase designed to bring real-time sports insights to media partners.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
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The Facebook icon flag at the social network's Menlo Park campus. Facebook

Facebook announced Tuesday that has agreed to purchase SportStream, an 18-month-old San Francisco company that specializes in collecting real-time sports data and passing it off to media companies, sports organizations, and broadcasters. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We want to help people connect with their passion around sports, and the world more generally," Facebook's Vice President of Media Partnerships and Global Operations Justin Osofsky wrote in a Facebook update. "Through this acquisition, we expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook's tools and APIs."

SportStream, however, wasn't just adept at finding the best sports updates from Facebook users. The company also claims to have a patent-pending technology that can surface high-quality tweets and Instagram media, which likely explains Facebook's interest. The acquisition supports a string of moves designed to make Facebook more like Twitter, such as linking it to what's happening in the world right now. The buy, then, looks like a defensive way to bring in-house a technology that also supports a competitor.

SportStream will continue work with its existing partners for the time being, CEO Bob Morgan wrote on the company's website. The company's team will move to Facebook's Menlo Park campus.