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Facebook has new app that lets you chat about live sports — starting with NASCAR

Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Axalta Chevrolet, lead during the NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 08, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona.Christian Petersen | Getty Images

Facebook is rolling out a new app for iPhone and Android called "Venue" that will let people talk about live sports. It will first support NASCAR.

Facebook said Friday the mobile app will be used to engage fans and television commentators during live events, as sports leagues brace for competitions without spectators due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Venue serves as a massive discussion board. Venue allows users to select between different chats within the app where fans can engage with assigned commentators. Facebook says hosts within the app will provide "interactive questions, polls, and open up short chats all around the specific moments" of the live event.

"Digital spaces can connect us when we can't be together in person, and Venue is one way to feel the energy of watching live events with other fans," Ime Archibong, head of Facebook's new product experimentation division, said in a statement.

Facebook entered a non-monetary partnership with NASCAR, making the sports organization the first to use the platform. Tim Clark, NASCAR senior vice president and chief digital officer said the platform would provide users "a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe." The app will be active for Sunday's Supermarket Heroes 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

"NASCAR was built on innovation, and we couldn't be more excited to help a great partner like Facebook's New Product Experimentation team innovate around new platforms," Clark said in a statement.

Facebook says it will look to partner with other leagues to build Venue. The company already has a content partnership with the National Football League through its Facebook Watch platform.

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