Social Media Takesover Olympics Coverage
A lot has changed since the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, not only has Twitter added millions of users but Facebook has also grown from 100 million to 900 million users – more than the total population of Europe. Needless to say, the changing social landscape has had a tremendous impact on viewers and athletes in this years Summer Games.
For starters, last week’s London 2012’s opening ceremony provoked more tweets than the entire 2008 Games and Facebook users continue to share photos and comment on the events.
“Four years ago, Twitter was only two years old, and it had around 3 million users,” explained Kate Bussman, author of A Twitter Year: 365 days in 140 characters, in an article posted to CNN .
“There are now over 140m, and it’s far more mainstream. Social media generally has become far more popular in that time period, especially when it comes to posting while watching sports events. Watching with a ‘second screen’ (i.e. a laptop, tablet or smart phone) has become much more popular.”
So what are some of the results from all this tweeting and online sharing?
• An athletes’ Twitter campaign objecting to sponsorship restrictions that went viral under the hashtag “WeDemandChange.”
• A TV viewers uprising over Olympic broadcaster NBC’s decision not to live stream the opening ceremony.
• Two athletes kicked out for racist tweets.
• Fan arrested Tuesday after a series of threatening posts, including one in which he vowed to drown a British diver, and another in which he told the athlete he had failed his dead father by not winning.
(From The Associated Press)
Both good and bad have surfaced from this explosion of commentary on the web – and there are still several days to go…
The Olympics coverage worldwide has forever been changed. Social media has impacted how the Olympics are reported. Limited coverage typically aired via news broadcasts has turned into commentary on every aspect of the games through multiple channels of communication without much control over content.
The question now is, do you think that future games will set limits on participating athletes about communicating online via social media channels during the games? Or would limitations and new rules cause protest from supporting fans and athletes?