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MLB brings fans together with baseball-devoted social media app

Major League Baseball continues its efforts to provide fans with fully immersive digital experiences through a new mobile application named MLB Fans that acts as a social haven where users can connect with related content. 

The new app is operated similar to a social network site such as Facebook or Twitter, but with a focus solely on the MLB. Users are able to share their own content, connect with other fans and follow baseball all year long, an effort developed by the brand to keep up engagement in the off season. 

"MLB Fans is available on all platforms, including web," Nick Loui, chief marketing officer at Vixlet, the developer behind the MLB Fans app. "Mobile was a major focus given the rise of smartphones, the need to deliver a best in class fan experience, where fans in baseball stadiums and viewing parties around the world can participate, and the success of MLB in mobile."

Mobile grand slam
The MLB released an app for Android and iPhones on October 6, to ramp up engage during the playoffs as well as increase engagement while baseball takes a hiatus. Fans can choose to message and interact with other baseball fanatics, as well as the MLB and their favorite teams and share content on their own social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter. 

The app encourages users to share content such as images from viewing parties, favorite baseball memories, stadium views on game day and speculate on rumors, outcomes, teams and players. Users can purchase merchandise from their favorite teams, view broadcast schedules for upcoming games, get behind-the-scenes content, watch highlights, read trade rumors, engage with trivia and stats and create and curate capsules filled with photos, videos, and text posts. 

MLB fans functions similar to Facebook, in that users create a profile but focus on showing their pride for their favorite teams such as a pictures and descriptions with team-related content. Users simply click the plus sign to add a post and then choose which capsule to add their posts to such as I Was There, Fan Forum and MLB. 
Consumers will now have a comprehensive view of the games they attend and those they do not through user-generated content, which creates an authentic and fulfilled atmosphere when paired with MLB content. Fans can now a substantial amount of information they are interested in through the app. 

MLB history
Major League Baseball?s official mobile application, MLB At Bat, reached 5 million downloads before the season?s first pitch was thrown in April, a record for the eight-year-old platform and pointing to mobile?s ability to enhance the consumption of sports events (see more). 

The MLB also tapped Snapchat to bring video content to fans and took the game back to its 19th-century roots as a source for both bonding with heroes on the field and inspired storytelling as the mobile messaging platform continues to evolve into a go-to destination for live sports (see more). 

"MLB and Vixlet want every single baseball fan to be able to connect to the league and teams better, the players, and discover the very best baseball content around the world in a single best destination," Mr. Loui said. 

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer