Facebook wants to be Twitter just as much as Twitter wants to be Facebook.
Last night, Facebook announced the acquisition of SportsStream, a startup that aggregates sports chatter and updates in real time. With the move, broadcasters like ESPN will be better able to find and feature conversations about sports that people are having on Facebook — just like they do with Twitter.
The goal is the same as the one behind Facebook’s move to adopt hashtags and trending topics: Facebook wants to topple Twitter as the go-to source for real-time info during major events — like sports.
“If there is something interesting going on, people are talking about it on Facebook,” Facebook VP Justin Osofsky argued in the post announcing the news.
But Facebook’s core problem isn’t that people aren’t going to the site to talk about events, but rather that people don’t post on Facebook expecting their thoughts to reach the entire world. It’s as much of a branding problem as it is a technical one.
With moves like its SportsStream acquisition, Facebook is trying to push things in the other direction. The real-time Facebook isn’t going away.