#London vs Beijing: Who wins the gold for social media engagement?

Not much changes when it comes to the Olympics. There will always be athletes who spend their whole lives training to compete and prove themselves the very best of the best in their sport. There will always be three different types of medals given to the top 3 finishers. However, the one thing that has changed is the way we, as spectators, consume the results and engage with others around Olympic events on social mediums.

Photo courtesy of Nick J Webb via Creative Commons

Twitter’s impact on the Olympic Games this summer has been significant compared to the Winter Games just 2 short years ago and even more so compared to the last Summer Olympics held in Beijing in 2008. Dubbed the Twitter Games by some observers, the London Games have seen an unprecedented number of people take to social media sites (especially Twitter and Facebook) to express their opinions, share results and, in some cases, spoil the outcomes for those of us waiting to watch tape-delayed primetime coverage.

Here are some other interesting stats found across the web to show you just how much Social Media and Twitter in particular have impacted how people are following the London Games:

-        Twitter reported in June that its users were sending out over 400 million tweets per day. In May, that figure stood at 340 million.

-        Thus far NBC has served up 64 million total video streams, which translates to a 182 percent 

improvement from the first five days of the Beijing Olympics

-        Twitter said more people had posted about the Olympics on that network Thursday, before the opening ceremony, than had during the entire Beijing Olympics in 2008. 

-        Twitter had only 6 Million users when the Beijing Olympics were happening, now they have 500 Million users. (Don’t miss the infographic to represent this data.)

-        Two thirds of the USA’s Olympic Team are on Twitter 

-        Tweet volume is 100 times what the Beijing Olympic saw

It’s probably important to highlight that this is also the first Olympic Games since the invention of the tablet computer and since the smart phone started its dominance in the marketplace. With almost 58% of people owning a smart phone, spectators and media can blog, tweet and comment from virtually any venue.

How has social media changed the way you are consuming the Olympic Games?    



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