Post by @emilydroessler/ Emily Droessler
Facebook has made yet another development in their new layout. Along with the Timeline, now you can have Interest Lists. This feature lets users subscribe to user-generated lists on what matters to them. These will be similar to Twitter lists in the fact that they are all created and updated by users; similar to Pinterest boards in the fact that all content is shareable; and similar to Google+ Circles with the idea of having groups to share and get information. Facebook is trying to become the single online destination for every interest imaginable.
When searching for a list on Facebook you will be able to see who created it, the people and pages in it, and the most recent posts. You can also subscribe to the list and share it with others via your Facebook profile.
As some has said, the list feature will turn your Facebook into a personalized newspaper. So what does this have to do with sports? Everything. Wouldn’t you love to receive a whole newspaper at your doorstep every morning that just had to do with the teams and athletes that you care to hear about? Well, Facebook could be doing just that. For example, under the Sports list you can add the public Facebook pages of all of your favorite teams, athletes, reporters, publications, and networks. Facebook users can choose between broad lists (example: Sports), more specific lists (example: NBA), or make their own lists (example: My Favorite Olympians).
So how will sports take advantage of this? These pages will combine the team page with fan pages to make one feed that is solely talking about that one athlete, one team, or one league. Instead of having to Google how many points Jeremy Lin had in a game, fans can simply go to the NY Knicks or NBA interest list and it will be right there, including reactions from multiples fans and other sources.
This is great for teams because they will be reaching their fans in a new way. Their fans are the people that are actually interested in the information and opinions of others. For example, an avid MLB fan that does not enjoy the NFL can simply join the MLB list and not the NFL list and then the information delivered will be specific to them. The MLB Teams interest list would include favorite athletes’ profiles, ESPN, and other MLB related sources.
Facebook Newsfeed is like a personal inbox that users often skim over and emails from sports teams are often overlooked. However, when fans have taken the time to subscribe to the NFL List, for example, they will be more open to see advertising based on the content that they are reading. Users will hopefully be spending a good amount of time looking at their lists because they chose to join them. This means that teams, leagues, etc. need to take advantage and draw people in through these interest lists. Teams can have links to sell tickets, gear, or anything having to do with what is being talked about by members of the list because they are likely to take action. The bottom line is that teams need to make fans go to the list, enjoy the content, click on the team to go to a homepage, and then convert them from “fans” to true fans.