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Football | Germany

Bayern launch 'Facebook-like' platform



German giants Bayern Munich on Wednesday launched their own Facebook-like website, MyFCB, hoping to engage more with the club's fans over the internet.

The new social network allows members to create a profile, invite friends, upload photos and videos and engage in group discussions.

Bayern Munich has an excellent record of online presence. Its website recorded 4.4 million visits in a month and its Facebook page provides information to around 3.3 million fans. MyFCB is expected to add to other online outlets rather than replace them.

"The new media has become part of daily life. We want to go where the fans are," said Stefan Mennerich, FCB Director of New Media.

While MyFCB is seen as an ambitious step to interact and reach out to more fans, it also has some risk, as both fans and opponents will access a wealth of information about the club.

"We are still at the beginning and we build the network step by step," Mennerich commented. "We learn something new every day." Currently the association accepts suggestions from fans.

The platform's team are not concerned about the possibility that members may get over emotional and insult each other online. They say they have it under control.

"We have made quite a lot of experience in this area through our work with other platforms, like Foren and StudiVZ," Mennerich said.

Basic criticism is "absolutely allowed, but if users abuse each other or insult players, we will delete such comments," he said.

The network, whose style resembles Facebook but is in Bayern red instead of blue, is also available in English and in the original Bavarian dialect.

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