DraftKings aims to use social media features to create an 'interconnected ecosystem' across its products

DraftKings Social To Roll Out Over Coming Weeks, Providing Interaction For DFS And Sportsbook Users

Facebook. Twitter. DraftKings?

Social network users already use platforms for specific purposes, and DraftKings‘ leaders expect users of its app’s new social features to be no different. Within the next few weeks, they believe online sports bettors and daily fantasy sports players will be chatting about their plays on “DraftKings Social.”

DraftKings Communications Director Stephen Miraglia told Online Poker Report on Wednesday:

“We will introduce features via a phased rollout. The research and development for this project began over two years ago, and we will keep iterating DraftKings Social beyond these early stages and as we look to continually improve the experience and receive user, industry and key stakeholder feedback.”

DraftKings Social gets a low-key introduction

The social network isn’t yet ready for prime time, but was introduced to app users in an underwhelming way on Tuesday night. Those who opened an email with the uninspiring subject line “Updates to our Privacy Policy” found a message about “our innovative social networking features.” Such an update is necessary because the new features will require using customers’ personal information in a new way.

Amidst the nearly 7,000-word privacy policy on draftkings.com, it’s possible to find some legal boilerplate about users having the option of sharing information on social networks. This is to allow DraftKings access to data that helps app users to find their friends to network with, among other things.

Despite the email’s claim that the DFS platform already offered a social network, the truth is its arrival is ongoing and will take place in a series of phases. Once complete, sports fans will be able to communicate across both the DFS and sportsbook platforms using what the company is calling DraftKings Social.

There’s no mention of adding in DraftKings Casino customers at the moment.

[ Editor’s note: It might, however, make a good fit for the rumored DraftKings Poker, which may or may not be on the way. ]

What DraftKings Social may be able to do

During the May 7 earnings call, Jason Robins – DraftKings’ co-founder, CEO and chairman – further elaborated on DraftKings Social’s functionality and purpose:

“With daily fantasy and sports betting already being predominantly online, this launch both enhances the digital engagement possibilities of these products, while also leaning further into the inherently social spirit of sports fandom and competition. The product is particularly unique, because it amplifies our ability to create an interconnected ecosystem across our consumer products. In addition to functionality like shared log in and wallet that we already offer, features like universal profiles, friends list, commenting, and loyalty/rewards will also allow DraftKings to connect users across products in a way that no other company is currently doing.”

Robins is technically right. However, Wynn Interactive just went public, in part to raise funds to add social networking functionality to WynnBet.

The race is on, then. DraftKings’ claim that this is “a first-of-its-kind social functionality” is true, provided it can roll it out fully before Wynn Interactive updates its own app.

Even with competition, DraftKings Social will stand out

Either way, DraftKings Social should be in a league of its own.

DraftKings already holds a large share of the online gambling and sports betting market. Plus, the social functionality is something that has been requested by millions of its existing users, according to Robins.

There is also, of course, a substantial size difference between the two. DraftKings revealed during its earnings call that this year’s revenue is expected to be $1.15 billion. Wynn Interactive is far behind currently, and hopes to reach $708 million by 2023.

The goal with the upgrade is therefore different. WynnBet is trying to acquire customers. DraftKings is attempting to keep its existing users happy enough to stick around in the face of expanding competition.

Robins added that DraftKings Social isn’t meant to replace what he calls “the Facebooks, Twitters and Instagrams of the world”:

“It’s really more meant to enhance the actual experience on DraftKings. And [address] a lot of requests we get from people: ‘How do I better see what my friends e betting on and what they’re playing? How do I interact if I like a bet my friend makes and let them know? How do [I understand] what my friends are playing, so I can play contest against them on our private leagues product?’ “

DraftKings gets plenty of attention as it is on existing social media networks. For instance, “DraftKings” was getting a Twitter mention every few seconds on Wednesday night. The tweets were mostly from sports fans talking about their bets.

- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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