Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2012 Olympics Presents the First 'Social Games'

The 2012 Summer Olympics are featuring some of the world's most popular sports, including soccer, basketball, swimming, and track and field, but new to the Olympics will be the role of social media. 

The Olympics in London are actually being nicknamed by some the first "social games." There is no doubt that sports conversation will be driven throughout July and August by popular networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. 

These networks were present during the last games, which occurred in 2008, but the reasons for the 2012 games being touted the first social games are simple- since 2008 social media has exploded. 

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In 2008, there were about 1.5 billon Internet users around the world, making up 23% of the world's population. Going into this year's Summer Olympics, that number has increased to 2.3 billion users, about one third of the world's population

In 2008, Facebook was used by 100 million people, passing MySpace in popularity. Today, Facebook claims more than 900 million users. In 2008, Twitter saw explosive growth when it had about 6 million users, sending about 300,000 tweets a day. Today, over 500 million users collectively send about 400 million tweets a day

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It has become a main source for sports news and is where much of the London 2012 Olympics conversation is sure to take place. Five hundred years' worth of YouTube video are watched via Facebook every day and more that 700 YouTube videos are shared through Twitter each minute. 

Due to this dramatic increase in the last four years, the big role the social media will play in how information is passed around from London this summer is undeniable. Thanks to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Google+ the best moments of the London 2012 Summer Olympics will be able to be replayed and shared across the world. All of this change since the last olympics, just four years ago, can only make you wonder what is in store for us for the 2016 Olympics. 

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