WNBA app rolls out TikTok-style video feed to attract younger fans

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The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is the latest organization to focus on short videos to attract more users. The league announced its revamped mobile app on Tuesday, which includes a new homepage with a TikTok-esque vertical feed of free content and other app updates, such as a new feature that hides game scores.

Previously, the home page contained only content intended for WNBA League Pass subscribers; so the videos were all locked behind a paywall. With the new update, anyone can instantly access free short videos as soon as they open the app. Fans can watch highlights, behind-the-scenes, and off-the-court content, along with “fit checks,” where WNBA players show off their outfits.

Notably, the app will also feature several exclusive content that will not be posted to WNBA’s social media accounts, Devin Ward, director of WNBA digital products, told AapkaDost.

Image Credits: WNBA digital

At the top of the home screen, there are new “stories” that users can click on and get a quick overview of WNBA related news. Like Snapchat and Instagram, these videos are 10 seconds long and disappear after a certain amount of time.

In addition, the new home page includes a news section where fans can read written articles about their favorite team.

The WNBA’s counterpart, the NBA, added a “For You” vertical video feed to its app in September 2022. Many fans responded positively to the NBA’s short in-app videos, and the feature was highly requested for the WNBA app, the league said.

Similarly, the WNBA has also added “Hide Scores”, a feature that already exists in the NBA app that allows users to swipe on a switch to enable or disable game scores. Now fans can avoid having their viewing experience ruined if they want to avoid spoilers.

A new widget has also been launched for iPhones, allowing users to see real-time game scores on their lock screen.

Image Credits: WNBA digital

While there are similarities between both apps, the WNBA team noted that there are also noticeable differences. In addition, the WNBA app is a separate product built by the league’s in-house team with help from partner Deloitte.

A big difference is the navigation tabs at the bottom of the screen. The updated WNBA app has a “Stands” tab so users can see where each team stands. Based on its learnings and consumer feedback, the league found that casual fans wanted the stats and standings to be easily accessible.

Meanwhile, the NBA app has hidden the “Tables” section from the “Discover” tab.

As the WNBA gains traction, the league continues to invest in its digital platforms in hopes of improving the fan experience. During the 2022 season (regular and post-season), the WNBA reported an average of 416,000 viewers across all networks, making it the most-watched full season since 2006.

Overall, the WNBA app is a hub for fans to access replays, highlights, the latest schedule, scores, stats, standings, and more. According to the company, there have been 260,909 downloads since 2020. For the 2022 season, the league’s app had 101,000 monthly active users.

The app also offers WNBA League Pass, a subscription that costs $24.99 per year and gives viewers live and on-demand games.

Eventually, the WNBA plans to launch sports betting and fantasy league features, Ward told us.

The 2023 WNBA regular season begins on May 19.

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