Fancred a must-have social app for sports buffs

You probably have someone in your newsfeeds who never stops posting pictures of lunch or the latest Internet memes. For diehard sports fans who use social networks to keep up to date on their teams' latest news and scores, it can be tough to filter out all the unrelated noise. Thankfully, the Fancred mobile app and website let you do just that, while also serving as a dedicated, gamified social network for sports buffs. The app also just got new live video streaming, a feature that could help it stand out among all the other sports apps.  

Fancred, a Boston-based startup, released the first version of its mobile app three years ago for iOS and Android. To get started, you simply create a profile that includes your name, city, bio and photo, and then select your favorite sports teams. When you finish the initial set-up, you see a newsfeed on the app's home screen beneath the "Crew" heading, which shows posts from people in your network.

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Your Crew includes people you add as friends, and the people who added you. For example, you can add individuals, such as close friends and family, as well as media outlets, including The Boston Globe. You can invite your friends to sign up for the app, and it's helpful to add people that are fans of your favorite teams, so relevant updates flow through your news feed. The news feed is similar to Facebook's interface, and you can share things of interest, such as news stories and photos, and "Like," comment or repost things other people share. You can also link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Fancred's new live streaming feature is currently available only in the iOS app. It's located in the "Live" tab on the home page, and it is similar to popular streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat, because it lets you start live streams from anywhere and post them for others to watch, Like and comment on. However, live video streaming at sports games recently caused some backlash, so it's unclear whether or not you will be able to use the feature at your favorite stadiums in the future.  

You earn points for certain app activities, such as posting photos of games you attend, which boost your overall scores within the app. You also rack up points when other people Like or repost your content. That score has to do with your "cred," or your influence and activity as a sports fan, but it's unclear what you actually get for higher scores, such as recognition or prizes. Everything that's posted goes to the your profile and can be accessed as a photo album or timeline of posts, which is again similar to Facebook. A notification section alerts you of activity on posts or your profile.

The app's home page also has a new "Scores" section, and it shows each night's games, with your favorite teams listed up top. If you click on a particular game, you see a news story that summarizes the match up. For example, I pulled up the Patriots versus Jaguars game on September 27, and a CBS Sports story previewed the game. (Fancred likely has some sort of deal with CBS, because it provides all of the game summaries.) However, in-depth stories aren't available through the Scores feed, though you can click on stories posted by other people.

Fancred has many unique features and a sleek user interface, and the app could potentially replace Facebook or Twitter for some fans, if it integrates more news sources, fantasy sports and ecommerce options.


Lauren Brousell

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