This is the FIFA World Cup month with the games being played in Brazil. With the battle on the ground, fans are also competing online. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are playing a big role as platforms of information and conversation. According to Twitter, there were more than 4.9 million tweets during the USA and Ghana match which ended with a win for USA. Similarly the first game between the host country Brazil and Croatia saw 12.2 million tweets happening.
While Twitter has been the go to platform for conversations, the data is still raw and many startups/companies are working to make sense of itvisually. Indian IT company TCS is one of them to work on Twitter data related to the ongoing 2014 World Cup and has converted them into visually appealing data in its TCS Social Soccer app.
Being an ardent follower of the game and admirer of social data powered by visualization, I downloaded the Android app. The app is heavy and once downloaded will have you spend a while reading a long document of terms and conditions from TCS. Anyways you have to accept and proceed further. Right after that, the app asks you to select two favorite teams and five of your favorite players. The search option is a pain and developers should test it once again. The below screen grab shows the home screen.
The home screen named as the Favorites has three parts as shown in the above screen grabs. The screen shows Matches Today, Favorite Team and Favorite player. If you tap on them, you get further details.
Matches Today feature
Tap on Matches Today, I tapped on the most talked about game today between Ghana and USA. The app loads a pie chart which shows the sentiment distribution of users before the game was played. According to the app 53% of Twitter users were expecting it to be a draw but the 37% of people who wished for a USA win had the last laugh. The below screen grab gives a quick look.
The app also shows the spike of tweets during the match and the conversation cloud which shows the major subjects people were tweeting about. The last minute goal from John Brooks caught attention of Twitteraties and he finds a presence in the tag cloud. The above screen grab shows both the features. Going further, the app might like to pull out tweets related to the specific keywords in the tag cloud.
This feature of Matches Today is similar to the Match Schedules and Analysis which could be found on tapping the category button at the top left most corner. On tap you can find similar details of the matches that have been played. Besides you can add reminders to forthcoming matches so that you don’t miss them.
Favourite Team feature
After watching the spectacular game of the Dutch with the world champions, Spain, I selected them as one of my favorite team this world cup. On tapping further the app gives a quick snapshot of sentiment analysis of the team on Twitter. Besides the app also provides tweets, Sentiment Trend, Activity Trend, Match Schedule, Tag Cloud and Location.
Tweets feature pulls out recent tweets by others for the team and also the tweets from the team itself. If you want to tweet or retweet a tweet showcased in the app, you would be taken to Twitter. Sentiment (positive and negative) and Activity trend pulls out more data from Twitter based on today, last three days and one week back. Both the features provide the facility of being compared with other teams or players. The below screen grab shows positive sentiment trend and activity trend for last one week between the Dutch and the Spanish team.
Location is another interesting feature which shows locations on a map that are generating the tweets for the team. Tap on the blinking locations and it will show you the number of tweets generated.
Favorite Team feature is similar to Twitter Trending Teams. The feature that can be accessed by the category tab pulls out a visual display of trending teams on Twitter. Tap on any team further; the functions are similar to Favorite Team feature.
Favourite Players feature
Andrea Pirlo, the 35 year old Italian captain is one of my favorite player this world cup and he seems to be having a positive run on Twitter too. Favorite Players feature is identical to the Favorite Team feature.
The feature also resembles the Twitter Trending Players located in the category tab. Tap on any player you will get the similar functions such as tweets, Sentiment Trend, Activity Trend, Match Schedule, Tag Cloud and Location. The below screen grab gives you a quick look of Twitter Trending Players.
Other features like Viral Tweets, Pundit Tweets curate tweets from Twitter and Twitter Timeline is showcasing the daily Twitter activity as a bar graph.
How good is the Social Soccer app?
The app marries the Twitter raw data well with its visualizations and insights. Match schedule and insights is an interesting feature to understand what users think before the match and how it shapes out later. A great visualized data that TV channels can use, like the TCS iElect app was used by CNBC-TV 18 during the elections.
In fact the soccer app has the shades of iElect app (review) but I am not complaining at all since the mobile app is a delight for me who craves for neat design, zero glitches and visually appealing insights. The KRDS “Second World Cup” app which was reviewed recently at LI is doing the same thing - making sense of Twitter conversations but TCS scores being a mobile app.
With the World Cup already catching a lot of excitement, I am sure the app will catch the eye balls of football and Twitter data lovers. But why is it named as TCS Social ‘Soccer’ app, is it developed by US team?