Twitter's run of being the preferred social media app for all athletes and celebrities might be coming to an end soon. The Major League Baseball Players Association is launching an app called Infield Chatter, allowing baseball players and fans a platform to communicate.
It's basically Twitter. Users can post photos, videos, or other forms of content, and are able to follow their favorite players who are posting their own content as well. There are plenty of chances for direct communication between fans and players, including Q&A sessions and contests allowing people to win various player memorabilia and other offerings.
Over 1,000 MLB players have registered, which makes it an already widely used platform. Oh and in typical baseball fashion, instead of "likes" you can give "fist bumps" for each favorite post. Nice.
So why the app, and why now? MLB players had long been seeking a way to communicate more directly and effectively with fans. They requested that an app be built to help facilitate this desire and the player's association stepped up.
Because the MLBPA is behind it, players have a unique incentive to join. A financial one too. If it takes off, they could see a nice payday.
Infield Chatter might be a relatively new concept, but the idea of social media specialization will likely continue. The app was created alongside startup, Honeycommb—a company who builds custom apps for certain subsets of fans. Another of their recent creations was a custom app for Lady Gaga to communicate with her fans. Will other professional sports leagues follow suit? It's too early to know the answer. It will largely depend on how well Infield Chatter performs.
This announcement comes at a difficult time for Major League Baseball. Dwindling television ratings, the overshadowing popularity of the NFL and NBA getting in the way, and complaints about the pace of games affecting support, this seems like a concerted effort by the league to try and rekindle some positivity.
Infield Chatter is available on the App Store and through Google Play. Says Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs reigning National League MVP, " the main reason this game is so special. The fact that Infield Chatter was built with this interaction in mind as the top priority really helps us share and connect in ways that we haven't been able to anywhere else.
Current MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark hailed the debut of the app as a "groundbreaking moment." We'll see if it pans out.
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