We’re one day away from the three-week sports maelstrom known as the Summer Olympics, and as always, the world is watching. Social media will play a bigger role than ever, thanks largely to its mega growth since the last summer games in 2008. In that span of time, Facebook‘s user base has grown from about 100 million to more than 900 million since then, the number of posts per day by Twitter users worldwide has exploded from about 300,000 to 400 million, and Instagram is now up to 80 million users.
No doubt the impact of social media will not be lost on the folks at NBC, who have created a whole series of ways for fans to use the second screen and the mobile space to enhance the experience. In fact, NBC will top 1 billion dollars to ensure that every event of the Olympics gets to be streamed live either online or on TV.
Of course this means more responsibilities are required of the athletes’ when using social media to be careful of what they decide to post (Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou was just withdrawn from the games because of her racist Tweet). However, the U.S. Olympic Committee believes, “ Social media is a fantastic opportunity for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes to engage fans, expose new people to their sport and truly showcase the unique personalities that make up Team USA.”
Making sense of all this information can be tough, so here’s a short list of destinations to help you get the best ‘digital dose’ of the Games:
- Olympics Facebook Page – Launched in June, Facebook’s Olympics hub is designed as a one-stop shop for Olympics fans with social media fever. It includes links to athlete and team pages and pushes out related content regularly.
IOC Olympic Athletes’ Hub – The International Olympic Committee’s social portal provides links to verified Facebook and Twitter feeds of Olympians from the past and present. It’ll house additional content like athlete Q&As and fan contests.
Storify Olympics Page – The acclaimed social storytelling tool has a destination page that collects Olympics-related Storifies from around the web. It will be an awesome way to find social narratives by professional journalists and digital-savvy fans alike.
Twitter/NBC Olympics Hub – This duo will provide a curated destination page that corrals the best fan, media and athlete tweets surrounding the Games.
NBCOlympics.com – As the 2012 Olympics’ official U.S. broadcaster, NBC will share tons of comprehensive coverage online, as well on this stand alone site.
- Official London 2012 Mobile Apps – Choose any app from this list to get the latest news, results, live updates, medal tally, schedule, athlete profiles and more, all on your mobile.
Statistically 70% of the world’s population is expected to tune in to the games. The diagram below reflects how our social experience will be connected directly into the greatest show on earth. And to think — this will all pale in comparison to what 2016 has in store.