I was sad to leave Agility Interactive a couple of months ago. At the time the company faced an uncertain future following their new parent company’s decision to strip it and sell it on. I had to leave – contracts were not being extended, but the few full-timers that remained faced a nail-biting few weeks while theirs, and the future of Favourit.com (the product we had all worked on) future was decided.
I don’t know the details but the company, now simply called Favourit.com, has new owners, direction, and at long last the password protection has been lifted and the site opened up to the public for the first time.
Favourit.com is a really interesting proposition and (in my opinion) has the potential to be a really big online success story.
It’s a marriage of social network with online sportsbook with an aim to own the ‘social betting’ space. So far, so bad, you might be thinking – this space is literally littered with the bodies of countless startups that have tried and failed this kind of thing before. But I think Favourit is different; where other social betting sites have invented gimicky tools to create bets with your friends, or offered bizarre multiplayer pool betting games constructed around chat rooms, favourit simply aims to take your normal sportbsook experience and make it social.
Central to its design is the idea that there exists a new type of sports fan: one that is comfortable using social media, comfortable using online sportsbooks and therefore one that is also comfortable sharing their sporting opinions, tips and betting experiences with others. Now take a look at traditional sportsbetting websites: private, solitary experiences that more closely resemble collections of spreadsheets than fun entertainment experiences and the opportunity is clear.
For favourit the solution was to build a new social platform from the ground up, one that is also able to collect and aggregate data from a range of bookmaker and sports data API’s and deliver them all to the user in a cohesive and fun experience.
Users of Favourit can make friends, discuss sporting topics with others, place bets, share these bets with friends and take part in leaderboard competitions to see who making the best bets on any given subject, all from one site.
But the really smart thing is that favourit itself is not trying to be a bookmaker, instead users can ‘link’ an existing account to the site and place bets through their chosen bookmaker. Its early days for Favourit, so there is currently only sportsbet.com.au signed up for the service in Australia, but in time I’m sure more will be added in more countries and with the UK being the next target there’s a good chance that the site will get the kind of traction it needs to push on even further afield.
But even smarter still is the simple fact that you can enjoy everything favourit has to offer without having any kind of bookmaker account at all, in fact you can use the whole site purely socially, or if you fancy a risk free flutter place a bet using the free in-house virtual currency system ‘Caps’.
I wish the favourit team the very best as they start their journey towards world domination. They’re a smart bunch and the technology is genuinely world class, so a definite tip for great things..