Since the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, Facebook and Twitter have seen a huge surge in popularity. This year, the 2012 London Olympic games have been dubbed the “Social Olympics” because of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms having changed the way fans and athletes interact during the games.
Not only has Twitter added millions of users since Beijing but Facebook has also grown from 100 million to 900 million users – more than the total population of Europe! Needless to say, the changing social landscape has had a tremendous impact on viewers and athletes in this years Summer Games.
For starters, London 2012′s opening ceremony provoked more tweets than the entire 2008 Games and Facebook users continue to share photos and comment on the events. But the real question is, what are some of the results from all this tweeting and online sharing?
- Web traffic statistics are, as one might expect, showing dazzling levels of increase. The BBC Olympics website hits record 29 million video requests in week one. Therefore the relationship between media operators and technology is at its best when it is actively trying to give people what they want.
- Athletes, Sponsors, and the Olympic committee have taken to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube since the onset of this international event. Most of the athletes are utilising Facebook and Twitter to promote events, health, workout regimens, their goals, causes, and Olympic culture – stimulating the minds of thousands of spectators, enthusiasts, and athletes who feel the warmth of inclusion that these channels enable.
- There has been an impressive 150 million Olympics related tweets over the past 16 days with Usain Bolt being the most talked about athlete of the Games and UK’s very own Spice girls setting a new Olympic record for inspiring 116,000 tweets per minute during the closing ceremony.
- Live Streaming, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming and more have added a personalised dimension to the events and how we receive the latest news on the games. The fact that we can watch any event when we want, or watch these games via numerous applications, on our phones or tablets and share our experience via numerous outlets means the days of being limited to viewing only the popular sports are no more.
We have officially entered a new era in Olympic spectating. Social media has impacted how the Olympics are reported and with London saying goodbye to the Summer Games, the Olympic baton passes to Rio de Janeiro. So how do you think people will be talking about the Olympics in 4 years time?