Yahoo updates Sports app to turn game highlights into GIFs

The Verge

Yahoo released a new version of its Sports app today that has been redesigned for iOS 7 with a heavy emphasis on GIFs. Yahoo Sports' GIFs, which it calls Loops, take short clips from game highlights and allow users to overlay text. They can then share their creations with the community, with the GIF appearing inside a feed on the main game results page. "We have a tradition around creativity, and empowering creators from Tumblr and Flickr," says Josh Schwarzapel, senior product manager for mobile and emerging products. "We took that mind set and applied it to sports."

Loops are available for professional football, baseball, basketball, and hockey, along with with college football and baseball. Yahoo is using technology from its acquisition of IntoNow to record highlights from nearly every play in televised sports, so GIF creators can quickly scan through a game's plays to find the moment they wish to highlight.

Yahoo is using technology from IntoNow to record highlights from nearly every televised play

Loops are the most prominent new feature in the Sports app, which Yahoo says is used by millions of people every day. A redesign for iOS 7 gives the app a flatter, more image-rich look in line with the company's other recent redesigns. Player statistics now include a prominent photograph of the player, for example, and the app pulls in articles about games from the web and puts them on the game results page.

The update will likely be welcome news to the app's users, even if Loops feel a bit harder to find than it should be. If you don't get taken straight to the game results screen from a push notification, you have to first select the sport, then the game you're looking for, and only then scroll down to see the GIFs. But it's a creative step from Yahoo that does makes the app more visually enticing — and shows another way the company's acquisitions have begun to cross-pollinate its lineup of apps.

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