Social media will be every bit the spectacle at this summer’s Olympic games as the competition for gold will be.
In 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, social media first surfaced as a major factor for exposure in the games. But that was just the beginning.
“Vancouver was just the first snowflake,” says Alex Hout, the International Olympic Committee’s head of social media. “This is going to be a big snowball.”
The primary reason for the close-ties with social media this year boils down to fan usage of social media. From millions watching at home with smartphones and tablets in hand, to the thousands who will watch the games live in London, everyone will be tweeting, Facebooking, and pinning news, information, and reactions about the 2012 Olympic games.
From the AP report Wednesday:
At the last Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008, Twitter had about 6 million users and Facebook 100 million. Today, the figure is 140 million for Twitter and 900 million for Facebook.
“They key difference from four years ago is that now almost everyone has a Smartphone, which means everyone can participate in real time,” said Adam Vincenzini of Paratus Communications, a London-based firm specializing in PR and social media marketing. “You used to have to be sitting at your desk to access various social media platforms. Now you can have your phone or tablet on your lap while you watch, whether that’s at the pub or the stadium.”
“In Sydney there was hardly any fast Internet, in Athens there were hardly any smartphones, in Beijing hardly anyone had social networks,” adds Jackie-Brock Doyle, communications director of London organizing committee LOCOG. “That’s all changed. Here, everyone has all that and will be consuming the games in a different way.“
Do you plan to make the 2012 games a social media event in your life? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.