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Facebook Adds New Fantasy Games Element to Tap into the Rising Popularity of Fantasy Sports



Fantasy sports have seen a big rise in popularity of late, and as with any trend that Facebook thinks it can take a chunk of, it’s now looking to add a specific fantasy sports element into the Facebook experience, providing another way for users to engage and interact around sports

Facebook fantasy games

As explained by Facebook:

“Today, we’re rolling out Facebook Fantasy Games in the US and Canada on the Facebook app for iOS and Android. Facebook Fantasy Games are free, simple prediction games that help fans enjoy sports, TV shows and pop culture content together. These games bring the social fun of traditional fantasy sports to simpler formats that are easy to play for people new to prediction games, while still engaging enough for more seasoned players.

As you can see in the above image, users in the US and Canada will now be able to access a new ‘Fantasy Games’ element in the app, which will enable them to participate in fantasy sports prediction games, and interact with other participants within Facebook’s platform.

Fantasy sports enable players to compete based on the statistical performance of players in actual games, or other events and predictions, with points allocated for each element. Those points then contribute to an overall score, generally in head-to-head match-ups with other competitors, which enables participants to match their expertise on the subject against others in a competitive way.

Aligning with this, Facebook’s fantasy sports platform will include public leaderboards, while players will also be able to create their own fantasy leagues in the app, and compete against friends and other fans. 

Facebook fantasy games

Facebook is starting out with ‘Pick & Play Sports’, facilitated in partnership with Whistle Sports.

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“Fans will get points for correctly predicting the winner of a big game, the points scored by a top player or specific events that unfold during a match. Players can earn bonus points for building a streak of correct predictions over a series of days.”

In the coming months, Facebook’s also looking to introduce additional games, with TV shows like Survivor and The Bachelorette also being added into its fantasy games mix.

Facebook fantasy games

It’s a light-hearted way for Facebook to lean into fantasy sports, but eventually, it’ll be looking to make money from the same, with the incorporation of additional add-on options, and potentially betting elements, which could make it a more addictive and engaging in-app experience.

As noted, fantasy sports has seen a big rise of late, with the fantasy sports market going from a $2B industry in 2015, to a projected $22.31 billion market in 2021.

Fantasy sports players over time [graph]

The added engagement of feeling like you’re participating in a sport, by learning the ins and outs, and then making bets on potential outcomes, can be a great way to maximize interaction and community – which is no doubt what’s got Facebook so interested.

But the big money here comes from betting, with platforms like DraftKings and FanDuel enabling players to make real money bets on the same elements, and earn money from their expertise.

Facebook isn’t looking to take that step just yet, but you can bet that will also be in its plans. And while it would have to skirt more controversy to facilitate such, if its fantasy sports element proves popular, it may well be worth it at some stage. It could also look to partner with existing players to facilitate connection to betting, providing another means to generate income for The Social Network.

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Right now, however, it’s just looking for more engagement, and to boost time spent in its apps. Which fantasy sports can definitely do, and with the added connectivity among your Facebook network, that could make it a valuable addition to the broader Facebook experience.



Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots



Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.


Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.

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