How the 2012 Olympics has transformed into The Social Olympics
By Nigel Chew
03 August 2012 – With the advent and popularity of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, this year’s Olympics have evolved into something has been coined ‘The Social Olympics’ as it has now, more than ever before, able to connect the whole world via social networking.
The International Olympic Committee has so far taken the first step by launching the Olympic Athlete’s Hub, a site which aggregates photos and videos from the Olympic Village, and was the only social media preparation leading to the event. As you would come to already expect, sports fans on location are sharing statuses and media updates with other fans across the globe.
Michael De Monte, CEO of ScribbleLive has mentioned that there has been a huge increase in the demand for real-time tools in the past four years, when the Beijing Olympics were under way. Currently, more than 57 websites in the world employ the services of the ScribbleLive platform to aggregate social updates and create conversations among fans as events occur.
Over a hundred million people today own smartphones compared to the 19 million back in 2008. Tablets were nearly non-existent during the Beijing Olympics, and yet now they’re owned by over 55 million people worldwide. In other words, viewing on mobile devices has become a significant trend as well. YouTube has its own official Olympics channel where users can tune in live to watch events as they take place, as well as replays. Various media organizations have also released Olympics apps for viewers to access updates.
Even other social networking apps are hoping to get a slice of the Social Olympics pie. Banjo, a location-based app released a new feature which aggregates tweets, updates and photos publicly shared on social networks by both Olympic athletes and attendees. Furthermore, PlayUp, a sports-styled social networking app added a feature that allows Olympics fans worldwide to follow scores and connect with fellow users in real time.
In summary, the increase in real-time viewership combined with the wide-spread dialogue on the subject matter reduces reliance for the average viewer on traditional media, specifically the television, to obtain the latest ongoing from the sporting event itself. Livestreams and apps help supplement this, so everyone can keep tabs on the Olympics from anytime and anywhere. Ultimately, it all falls in line with the 2012 Olympics’ event mission - to bring about global togetherness in sport.