Most popular mobile sports apps are trying to feed you scores and news, or show you fantasy numbers. OnSports, by HitPost, is in a smaller class of apps that’s focused on users running the discussion themselves. And now, ahead of the Super Bowl this Sunday, viral growth and featured spots on the Android Market and the iTunes App Store are helping it step up against larger competitors.
The app, which lets users make their own reports and polls with professional photos, is now #2 on the Android Market free sports app section, and climbed to #13 in the iTunes version of the category since yesterday. This has translated to around 50,000 daily active users, chief executive Aaron Krane tells me, with 60% of new users returning within 24 hours. He says the app, which makes it easy to share activity to Facebook and Twitter, is generating 30,000 posts to Facebook each day, and 300 tweets per hour on Twitter. OnSports is also sending about 3000 SMS messages per day.
Some of these metrics are of the vanity variety — and they’re certainly not of the scale of social mobile games — but they all indicate an engaged group of core users, in an immature category of mobile usage.
Most significant sports apps, including ones from ESPN and major sports leagues, are focused on broadcasting scores and professional news to users; while they may have social features for commenting and sharing, the focus is not as heavily about user interaction. However, Bleacher Report and SB Nation — two web sites that rely on user-generated content — also have mobile apps. The influx of user web content into devices makes them more immediate competitors.
OnSports is notably sticking to the thesis of being mobile first… that users will want to do to more and more of their social activity on the devices they carry around with them rather than their computers. The company has been trying to figure out exactly how to make this idea materialize over the last year or so. With the new visibility to users ahead of the biggest sporting event of the year, it could be on its way to winning in the big leagues of consumer mindshare.