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The Social Media Olympics

London 2012 has been an Olympics to remember, not just for the performances of Team GB or the thrills of the opening and closing ceremonies, but for the dominance of social media in reporting some of the first breaking news stories from the Olympics, and defining the 2012’s claim to being the first truly “social media” games.

Before the games commenced, Interdirect reported that the IOC had embraced social media with the launch of the Olympic Athletes Hub, to unite athletes and their fans. But this was just the start of London 2012 engaging with a global audience though social media:


Interesting London 2012 Social Media Stats*

  • 306 billion items relating to Olympic content was shared on the open web in just 17 days.
  • Total open web sharing equivalent to the world’s population creating 44 pieces of information each in just over 2 weeks.
  • 208,333 content shares per second on the open web.
  • 102 billion Facebook shares including photos, timeline updates and videos.
  • By the time Usain Bolt had run his gold medal winning 100m in 9.63 seconds, over 2 million items were shared.
  • UK Twitter users generated over 40,000 tweets per hour during the opening ceremony, with Mr Bean as the most tweeted topic.
  • On Day 1 of London 2012, Twitter saw more tweets in a single day than it saw during the whole of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
  • 60% of access to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games’ (LOCOG) digital assets was from mobile devices.

    *Data courtesy of BBC Technology and Jeff Bullas

And it looks like London 2012 was the beginning of the rise of social media in sports coverage, with the host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Sochi, targeting the digital generation by incorporating its URL into the logo.

How did you use social media to follow Team GB in London 2012? Leave your comments below.

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