August 13, 2012
After 16 days of sporting excellence, London bid farewell to the Olympic Games last night. Touted as the ‘world’s first social games’, London 2012 lived up to the hype around social media with networks extending their reach far and wide, as well as acting as a supplement to traditional media.
A tweeting extravaganza
Mashable published an infographic late last week, detailing what had been talked about on Twitter during the 1st 10 days of the Games. There were more than 28.4 million Olympic-related tweets, with almost 2,000 tweets per minute being published! Click on the below image to view the full infographic.
Fans appear to have relished direct access to sporting stars, tweeting good luck messages & event commentaries and many athletes have been responding to and re-tweeting fans.
Superstar sprinter, Usain Bolt not only set the Olympic 100m record but also set a Twitter record with 80,000 related tweets published per minute after he became the first athlete in history to retain both the Olympic 100m and 200m titles. Similarly, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history winning 22 medals, but he also reigns supreme as the athlete who acquired the most fans on social media platforms during the games. Phelps added 1 million Twitter followers to bring his total to 1.2 million followers.
The sour side of the Socialympics
Not all interactions have been so pleasant. Tom Daley fell victim to Twitter abuse from internet trolls, whilst 2 athletes were expelled for inappropriate tweets. NBC also came under social fire whilst the #NBCFail regularly being used on Twitter – read more here.
Still mishaps & controversy aside, it has become clear that social media played a fundamental role in the enjoyment & success of the 30th Olympiad. It was also a strong nod in the direction of social media becoming an increasingly prominent element of large events. YouTube will be expanding their live streaming offering, having partnered with NBC to broadcast during the Olympics.
How social were the Olympics for you…?