If you aren't planning to be at a Super Bowl party shouting about the game or critiquing the commercials with your friends, Facebook hopes you'll be doing all of that stuff through its just-launched Super Bowl hub. Actually, Facebook calls it the "Super Bowl experience," but it's more or less a fancied up Trending page — and exactly what you'd expect as the company tries to ratchet up social activity even higher than the figures seen last year. Over 50 million people were "part of the conversation" focused around the NFL's biggest game in 2014. Now, Facebook wants to be an even larger center of the conversation — and try to keep you away from Twitter in the process.
You can get to the Super Bowl experience right here, and although it looks very busy (perhaps overly so) at first glance, it's helpfully broken up into sections. Don't care what strangers think about Deflategate? "Friends and Groups" will display status updates and chatter only from people in your own Facebook network. If you do want to see what the world thinks of every expensive Super Bowl ad, the Live Feed will stream those reactions as they're posted — with the help of hashtags, of course. Facebook will also automatically surface content from people who post about "watching Super Bowl XLIX" as an activity.
Facebook wants football fans to visit during the game and never leave
The Super Bowl hub will pull in photos and video from news outlets and people seeing the action live at University of Phoenix Stadium, and an "In the Story" section will showcase updates from the NFL, Seahawks, Patriots, individual players, and other respected voices in sports. If you're somehow tragically caught away from a TV, Facebook will keep you updated on the score, current play time, and even provide running play by play. (Remember you can stream the whole game and even the halftime show from a smartphone.) Many people will do that, but Facebook hopes millions more will load up the Super Bowl "experience" on a PC or smartphone and stay locked in as the Seahawks defend their championship against Tom Brady's Patriots.