[toc]DraftKings continues to move forward with updates to its daily fantasy sports offerings, despite the fact that a merger with FanDuel appears to be on the horizon.
The latest from DraftKings
DraftKings announced two updates to its core product and one for its standalone sports and fantasy news app, DK Live.
Facebook and DraftKings
DraftKings announced the ability for users to connect their Facebook accounts to their DraftKings accounts, via both the iOS and Android apps.
The step should allow for a more social experience for DraftKings users. Currently, a lot of DFS social interaction occurs via Twitter.
One of the problems for DFS as a whole has been its inability to capture or recreate the social nature of season-long fantasy sports. Linking Facebook to its core product should help DraftKings in the goal of making its contests more social.
‘Leagues’ mobile chat
Another product update aimed at social interaction is the introduction of chat in DraftKings’ “Leagues”.
For mobile app users only, DraftKings players can now access a basic chat functionality within Leagues. The Leagues portion of the DraftKings platform allows users to get a group of people together to create and play private, customizable DFS contests exclusive to the invitees.
Now, friends playing against each other via Leagues have an easy way to communicate with one another on the site.
NBA on DK Live
DraftKings went live with a separate app a few months ago, just for NFL games, called DK Live. It allows users to track game action, player updates and scoring for fantasy players, all from a single app.
DraftKings is now adding the NBA to the app. More from DraftKings via an announcement of the new product:
DK Live aggregates all critical information fantasy players need, regardless of their fantasy platform, giving fans an easy way to follow every fantasy-relevant play in real time, with highlights feeds, breaking news and expert analysis—all customizable for the athletes in their fantasy lineups.
DraftKings also told Legal Sports Report that it has plans to eventually add other major sports, such as the NHL and Major League Baseball.
What’s all that mean for the merger?
It’s not clear that these updates mean anything in terms of the possible merger of FanDuel and DraftKings.
The development behind all these updates had likely been going on for some time, especially the new NBA portion of DK Live. That had already been in DraftKings’ plans before the NFL functionality even went live.
Reporting from major media outlets like ESPN termed the merger between DraftKings and FanDuel as “imminent” more than two weeks ago. It’s still very possible the merger is going through shortly. There has been more chatter in recent weeks about the possible tie-up than at any point in the history of the two DFS giants.
Still, the timing of the rollout does give rise to speculation. If FanDuel and DraftKings were going to be one unit this week, would DraftKings necessarily drop this news this week?
If anything, it makes it seem more likely that the two sites will remain separate products for some period of time, whether there is a merger or not. Not long ago, FanDuel rolled out a new sport — soccer.
Regardless, the latest updates make it clear that DraftKings isn’t going to sit around waiting to improve its product.